Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Letter 2014

Christmas 2014           

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Williams!
2014 will go down in our home as the year of insane pandemonium and then peaceful rest. The home building process from 2013 continued on into 2014, we finally moved the beginning of March from our home of 10 years in Keller Texas to New Fairview Texas – also known as the middle of nowhere. New Fairview is about 30 minutes west of the DFW Metroplex – away from the busy city life. We will forever be known as the house that had the driveway poured on the neighbor’s property, ripped up days before closing, only to be poured back in the exact same spot 3 weeks later. But, hey we quickly got to know all our neighbors and they gave us their condolences. Our move delivered more freedom for the kids to run, ride bikes, invent and climb trees. The building process continued as we added a shop and wood rail fence this past summer. Now that we are finally settled and rested, the chaos of a year of building is a distant memory. Missy and I appreciate the quieter pace of life, on a cul-de-sac where our kids can run around. We enjoy impromptu dinners with our neighbors who love to BBQ and smoke vegi’s and meat. We  have quickly grown accustom to small town life!

I (John) am in my sixth year of working for Fort Worth ISD as 6-8 grade Special Education Teacher. I really enjoy teaching and have decided to take advantage of the districts offer to pay for a Master’s degree and remain in my district another 3 years.  Obtaining a Masters has been on my bucket list for a long time, so it seems like a good time to return to school. While school encompasses much of my week, the rest of my time is spent at home with the family and building my dream shop. In June we embarked on another building project and had the shell of a metal workshop built – this process was much simpler than building a house! So in July and August I moved all my tools out of our two car garage and into my new 30x40 workshop. It has been the culmination of a dream to design the layout of my new shop, hang up all my clamps and build work benches for the kids to use. In my free time I’ve been building Missy chicken coops and a farm house table for our kitchen. I even managed to build a second one for Missy’s sister and brother in law. It is so much easier to work on projects with 1200 square feet of space!

Missy is in her 16th year of working for Westower Communications, yet due to a recent acquisition her tenure there be ending in late March 2015. This will be quite a shift for her; she plans on taking a break from treasury and finance work and invest more time in the children’s homeschooling. Westower was her first job out of High School and it has been such a blessing to our family all these years. There are few jobs where she could work from home earning a salary and raise our children too! She considers her time there a blessing but look forward to a new chapter investing more time in our children. Missy appreciates the quiet, country life with the horses and cattle grazing next door and her chickens playing in the backyard amidst our children and lively dog. She creates an atmosphere where all the kids congregate after school – much to our children’s delight. Missy planted an orchard this Spring and is currently trying to figure out how to get flowers to grow atop our very rocky soil.

Drew, my oldest, will be turning 10 in January. When he grows up he would like to rescue animals and be an inventor. Now that there is room in my shop, Drew has begun using a lot of my tools and assists me in projects – I love having a sanding buddy! So far he can safely maneuver the band saw, scroll saw and the belt sander and has been making Christmas tree ornaments to give out to friends and family.  He also loves designing blowgun courses out of wood blocks all over my shop and shooting them down atop my 10 foot shop shelves.  Drew is active in jujitsu and passed his grey belt test a few months ago. It has done wonders in controlling his energy and honing his strength. Drew is growing into a delightful helper around the house, he is very responsible; helping with dishes and mopping often.

Gabe turned 7 in November and has decided  he wants to be a spy, crane operator, pilot, and work in the Special Forces when he grows up. Oh, and in his free time he wants to go to Africa and research Cheetah’s. I'm not sure how he will fit it all in, but if anyone can it is Gabe.  Gabe has recently become interested in the inner workings of my shop and can use the scroll saw and belt sander. Gabe is also into Jujitsu and might be able to win a match against his brother in a few years! Gabe is excelling in school and loves to read aloud to his sister. He loves the adventurous life – always packing back packs and heading outside for adventures in the tree or dirt pile.

Abby (my little one) will be 5 in just a few short weeks. She is eagerly awaiting a princess tea party with an Elsa cake! When she grows up she wants to be a spy that wears pink and live in a real castle.  A typical day for Abby involves four or five changes of clothes with at least three princess dresses and a tiara.  Next, she loves having her fingernails painted and having her hair done in braids by mommy. In our new neighborhood there are lots of other little girls for Abby to play with and she is constantly waiting for them to come home from school or begging mommy to plan playdates. More often than not I feel our home is the launching point for whatever mischievous mayhem all the little girls come up with- like “lets cut each others hair” or “paint all over the walls!” Abby is enjoying a ballet class once a week and in true form bosses her brothers around and insists on playing with all their friends. She is always eager to color and work on art projects while her brothers work on their school. She is not much into structured school yet, but she enjoys listing to the boy’s history and bible lessons and then is off doing her own thing.
Belle our Belgian Mal is enjoying the additional space the property offers, she spent the year being conditioned to not eat our chickens and heard them out of our front yard. Thankfully we now have a fence so we do not catch the chickens in our front yard as often. Belle finds humor is psyching out the neighbor’s rooster who frequents our yard and terrorizing our very tolerant cats. Have you ever seen a dog play with cats? It is very funny. 

As God calls us out upon the waters of 2015 we rest in His sovereign plan. Missy and I have been praying and talking about our concern for orphans for 10+ years and have always felt the Lord softening our hearts to not just pray for the orphans but participate in changing the life of a child – and in doing so shape our own hearts and the DNA of our family. So, when we built our home last year we knew God wanted us to add an extra room to the floorplan for children in need. As I type, our license is headed to the state of Texas and in a few weeks we will become a licensed foster family for children in tough situations. This whole process is not something you can predict or prepare mentally for. We are eager to obey the Lord and see where He leads our family as we open our home and hearts to the hurting. We pray we can bring joy and a little rest into a child’s life and that in turn our faith will be made stronger and bolder for the Lord. We would covet your prayers; often when we step out in faith life gets messy and challenging. We are praying for doors to open as God directs our path and lives to be changed.

Blessings from,
John & Melissa
Drew, Gabe,  & Abby,

 In like fashion, here are a few funny or commonly heard phrases around the Williams’ home this year.
“Who ate the entire flat of berries before we got home from the grocery store?”
“Yes your tummy should hurt, you just ate half a bag of marshmallows!”
“Can we have a fire tonight Daddy?”
I’m so proud that you were the only kids who had a flashlight in your pockets when we had a blackout at church!
Would you please take down your blowgun range so I can walk through my shop?
“Clothes! You need clothes on – all the time, every day, this is not a new concept!”
You do not you need a compass, a pocket knife, a bundle of rope, a grappling hook, a lighter, a flashlight, a box of cookies, two cheese sticks, two apples, fruit snacks, a screw driver, and extra batteries to go to church.
 “Okay, what else is in your pockets?”
“Who tracked mud into the house!”
“Do you know there are chickens in our garage?”
“No, plaid and Camo do not go together – ever!”
“When was the last time you took a shower?”
“If you drop your pencil one more time…..”
“ Why do every pair of jeans have  holes in the left knee?”
“Put your bottom on the chair (sigh)… put all 4 legs of the chair on the ground (sigh)… never mind, give me the chair, you can write standing up.”

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