Thursday, November 29, 2012

When Mommy Leaves.....

We'll I've discovered what the kids did while I was in the PNW - so far I've watched them make "tools" out of LEGO's which was very cute, then Gabe said that he wanted to take it on the show "Cool Tools." Then yesterday at breakfast Drew informed me that we can safely drink rattle snake blood - what? He replied, yes, I learned it on that "prep-per" show daddy likes. So the kids watched Cools Tools and Doomsday Preppars - really??? Good thing I'm not traveling again for quite a while!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Thankful List 2012

Psalm 95:1-6
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker." 

2012 was a blessed year; we thank the Lord for another year together with our children and extended family. We had many visitors and lots of fun! 

1. Drew was thankful for his school, church and family, he especially enjoyed visits from Papa Tractor and his Papa from Seattle. He enjoyed time with his Sister the beginning of the year while Gabe was at Preschool. Then in the Fall he started ACA and was not home quite so much. That was a hard transition for us all, but we made the most of it.
Drew is loving and compassionate. As his mommy I'm so grateful for his helpfulness and servants heart. I also am thankful for his creative mind that is always running and inventing and creating. I know our God is creative so its nice to see life a little clearer through the eyes of my son, he helps me to see God in a clearer light. 

2. We are thankful for our health. It is something we do not take for granted. When we think back to Abby's first month of life, it puts the frailty of life in perspective. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away - Blessed be the name of the Lord.

3. Gabe is thankful for his family, his friends, brother, sister and his fun daddy who is always teaching him new things. He loves his Daddy's blow gun and is blessed to have a daddy who shares his things and a Mommy who forgives the random misses that land in her wall.
4. Siblings - we are blessed to have three kids who love one another. They enjoying playing and singing and laughing. There are random scuffles, but for the most part they are inseparable. What a blessing as a mommy to know her children are practicing Christ-likeness daily within the family. I smile when Drew is quick to unbuckle his sister when we get out of the car, or when Gabe defers to Drew and lets him sit in the front bucket seat of the van. Abby loves to just be around her brothers and enjoys getting the Lego's or blankets for their forts.

5. One huge blessing happened in the Spring, John was able to take off two days and accompany Drew to camp. They boys went hiking, swimming, repelling, and horse back riding. This was a really fun time and Drew became great friends with a little boy Matthew from his class. The bigger blessing was when the following Fall, Matthew too  was enrolled at ACA and held back in 1st grade. God is so good, He had planned it all out ahead of us!

6. Sweet Abby - she is thankful to turn 3 soon! She is also in speech classes that have really assisted her in communicating better. She is such a blessing to our family and daily reminds me to enjoy the moments because they can quickly change to heartbreak. This little girl is a lover of life and all things fun! I am blessed by her energy and eagerness to please.

7. We are blessed to have consistent and stable jobs. Though I wish I  could say I wasn't as busy working this year, I am thankful that my job is consistent and that the growth they have experienced has allowed me to meet and serve some wonderful people. At a time when many are loosing their jobs, we offer up thanksgiving for income and provision beyond all we could have asked or thought.  John is blessed to enjoy serving his special ed kids and educate them to the best of his ability. He was heartbroken when one of his students parents passed away this winter. His job is hard, the there is way more politics than he would like, however, serving children that have little joy in their lives is right from the heart of Jesus. God provides all that is needed each day to serve and it is such a blessing to be right where God wants you to be. 

8. Generosity - I am thankful for a husband who thinks about others. He is always giving - to coworkers, our children, the homeless, random strangers. I love that our kids see this selfless giving and have caught it. John is such a great example for our kids and I feel blessed to be married to such a generous man!

9. Traditions  are hard to keep but lasting in the memories of children. I try and spend time each year recreating traditions year after year that bring our character and a renewed love for Jesus. I am blessed that God placed this desire in my heart, for my children have picked up on it and are learning so much about our Lord. They love our time of Advent and reading of the thanksgiving stories each Fall. They love not having chores on their Birthday and picking the food and games for their birthday. 

10. We are thankful for a great team at church - a group of friends who are genuine and honest. John is blessed with a mentor and godly man who speaks into his life each week and great guys who visit the garage every week. It is amazing how welcoming an open garage is to a quiet neighborhood.
11. Grandma Patti visited us this year and enjoyed some Texas sunshine! She came right before leaving for two years in China. We are blessed to have family that lead by example and serve not just in American but in other countries. John was blessed to go  back to Vietnam this Summer, he enjoyed speaking at the conference in Hanoi on special needs. It was so encouraging to see all the support and funds God raised to send him across the country. 

12. We count each of our blessings this year, there is so much to thank the Lord for! The one change that stands out the most to me is being so close to ACA and being able to financially afford this school. We have always felt called to non-traditional approaches to education. I just feel blessed to partner with a school that has our values and love for creative learning as well as a desire for parents to be actively involved in their children's education. Though the road has been hard and we've put a lot work into school this year, I  can see the rewards in heart and mind. We continue to pray for Drew's love for learning and a deep desire for his eyes to work better so reading comes more natural. In the interim we press on with a higher goal in mind which is character traits like perseverance, discipline and an understanding and compassionate heart.

May you have a blessed 2013 and remember to cherish each moment like it is your last.....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Fall in Pictures

More Lego creations!
Gabe finished his little kick's soccer class this Fall

Abby - tired after a play date at Grandma Johnnies
Brothers: on the Fort Worth train touring the Trinity River
Abby learning how to defend herself.... or showing me her new shoes that a friend gave us?

Our milk company went out of business this past September, so I found a new farm in Bridgeport. The kids know more than enough about where our milk comes from, we happened upon milking time one evening and stayed an hour watching the process. The kids now want farms and cows and cute little goats! They need to hurry up, Bridgeport is a long way to drive!
Fun run time - Drew ran like a crazy man, he now gets out energy by running a mile and a half everyday (2x around the block). That kid is crazy fast and has endurance - I'm sure God has great things planned for all that energy!
Fun at Homestead Farms in October with cousins and Nana!
Aren't the "kids" so cute!
Fishing Fun!
More fun at the pumpkin patch with our cell group from church.
Staying up late watching the election results and coloring the "Red" and "Blue"
Three days at Great Wolf Lodge: celebrating Gabe's 5th birthday, John and I both needed a break from working so  this was quite the family treat! Added bonus - I didn't have to plan a party!

Birthday gifts wrapped in targets - guess who wrapped these?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seasons Blessings

Blessings from this homey Wednesday; written in my gifts journal:

:: a day at home with all three of my kids, enjoying one another

:: warm white tea that warms my soul 

:: a final hug from Drew right before he heads off to bed

:: a friend and neighbor who tutors my son and brings blessings and encouragement

:: a light work day that leaves time for laundry and learning and listening to all my kids thoughts

:: completed school work and project; a smile because Thanksgiving break brings a well earned respite from book learning and more time for discovery and play

:: Abby giggles - her purple blackberry stained face ...

:: Lavender stress drops

:: speech teachers who  give mommy great ideas to practice with my littles

:: Encouragement for today to cling to my unchanging God....

Monday, November 12, 2012

September & October Pictures

First Week of School Celebration: Chocolate Dips!
Gabey Crockett and his LEGO wand.

Drew at the new park that was just built by our house.

Boys have been into fort making!
The kids are really into dress up these days!

Apple Orchard Field Trip
First week of 1st Grade was a success!

Another Lost Tooth


Fun at Nana's with Pudding

Mommy  Date with Gabe

Butterfly Field Trip

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

God is on His Throne

It seems a very appropriate title after the last few months, or maybe years? I'm working through part 3 of Precept study on Revelation and oh how I just love learning about my Jesus and His promises. There is so much I've been digesting and reading, its all brought me so much closer to the Lord and clinging to all His promises - for God is a promise keeping God, not one promise has been forgotten and before the end of the Tribulation all will be completed. So I've not been around this place, I've been swamped with work and life and my study. I often journal or blog about things the Lord is teaching me, but in this season I just felt like it was time to be quiet. To listen and drink from the Word and then digest - silently.

King and Queen Williams
As for our life - well its a matter of faith!  We've been trying to keep up the traditions of apple picking, thankful lists, etc, but Drew's school and my increased workload have left little time for much of anything. We've been surviving - God sends those seasons and teaches us much! I'm learning to just follow God's lead on where He directs our family. That has been quite hard for me in the past, but I guess I've had a lot of practice. I've chosen contentment and am praying diligently that the anxiety or business of life will not remove my joy. I am such a grouchy and moody person when stressed, so the past 4 months have given me much opportunity to wrestle with God, (poor husband too!) cling to His promises and try and walk in Joy. It is getting easier! Joy is a choice that is worth seeking.

Drew is spending a lot of time working on school work. Thank the Lord he is great at Math and memorizing because Science, Math, Grammar, Bible and History he just whizzes through, which leaves us a lot of time on phonics, handwriting writing, Spelling and reading. Spelling has become a bad word in our house. All the topics above are linked together. I think he has some mental block and its just a struggle. Drew is being tutored each week for an hour with a reading specialist who specializes in Dyslexia. Mrs Megan is so patient. She too discovered how incredible distract-able Drew is. Drew has been learning a lot at ACA, he loves his teachers and classmates. He also loves art class! Yippee! Drew is making huge progress though - he actually read an entire book last week without giving up. It took him about 3 hours over two days, but he persevered. He also has been getting much better marks on his site words! Drew's report card came home the end of last week and he had all "A 's
" and one "B."

Abby started her Speech classes and is doing well, I'm constantly working with her words and trying to encourage endings to those words. She has her first sickness of the season, I hope its no indicator of things to come - I'm filling her up with lots of fresh goat milk!

Gabe just celebrated his 5th Birthday (a little early since I'll be out of town). I detest parties and the "gimme" attitudes that Birthday presents seem to bring about, so we went on a mini stay-cation to Great Wolf Lodge. It was great to get away for  two days and relax. Abby was a little under the weather so I had to take her home and to the Dr, but that is the joy of being in town! Gabe is growing up so much. He is reading Bob books and working on his Math U See lessons. We also started Explode the Code book 1. We're taking things very slow - kindergarten work will be completed in two years - then we hope to begin him at ACA in first grade just like Drew.

As for John and I, we've taken  the house off the market and now know that God is directing us to rent out our home this coming Spring. Funny how we both thought we needed to be older and have more money in the bank to do that! Once we reworked the #'s everything fell right into place. God is faithful to take us through the trials to teach us lessons and stretch us - I wanted a sold house - God wanted character and chaos to shake our foundations a little. It was an interesting few months of trusting and learning to not have a schedule. I remember the evening I made a crockpot meal and was waiting for John to come home and spend time with us, instead we had a showing and my quiet pleasant evening did not happen. So in the interim we're saving like crazy trying to get 20% to put down on a house this Spring. We'll see what happens!

I've been super busy with work, I'll be traveling to Seattle in a few  days and get back the night before Thanksgiving. I'm so sad our house isn't all decked out of Thanksgiving and we're not having the beloved celebration at my home this year, but I think my mom is going to enjoy the change to host! I've been slowly watching the weight come off! I finally went shopping for some new clothes with my birthday money. Slow and steady is winning this race - finally! Poor John, he misses home cooked meals  - though I do cook but not like I use to!