Friday, November 30, 2007

Catching Up

Wow, it's really interesting coming back from a long trip and landing right in the throws of Christmas stuff! I must say that due to my husband's wonderful help that we were unpacked from our journey in record time for the Williams family. Normally, I end up wondering where clothes are only to find a bag that didn't get unpacked lying under a pile of dirty laundry. I'm still kinda reeling from the fact that we got it done so quickly - we got back Sunday night, and all was squared away by Tuesday afternoon.

Anyway, I've gotten some Christmas lists made but still not a thing purchased - I am moving in that direction, though. I think I need to make a master to-do list sometime this weekend just to keep it from all floating around in my head!

On the mission front, we're in a holding pattern for right now (which comes at a GREAT time since I can't imaging working on that and having an enjoyable holiday season at the same time). All of our medical/personality/education stuff has been submitted, and we wait while that is all processed. If all of this looks okay, then we'll move to the next step which involves writing an autobiography and our statement of beliefs.

Back to Thanksgiving - bear with me while I jump from one thing to the next - I've got some great pictures that I've been wanting to share. We had a wonderful time and actually got to be tourists and visit the Stockyards - something I had never done! We all had a great time - couldn't have asked for a prettier day.

This is us eating a wonderful meal at Risky's BBQ...yummy!

We wanted to ride the train in Trinity Park, but it's only open on weekends. We opted for the Water Gardens instead.

Later that night we ate at Poncho's. The jalepenos made my dad's head sweat! :-)
These are from our playdate with the Isbells. So much fun!

Later that night we ate at Chic-fil-A (I can't seem to escape it.) with the Elledges and Verigans - we formed a kid table so the grown ups could talk! Sorry, the picture is minus Aubrie and Rowdy who were strapped down in high chairs, of course!

This is in Tioga, TX on the way to Lake Texhoma - this is apparently the hometown of Gene Autrey.

There's a petting farm at the marina where we stayed. Yes, the girls used hand gel immediately following the petting experience.

This is the whole gang after we were stuffed with our Thanksgiving feast. We were nice and toasty on such a cold day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safely to the land where bigger is better...

I really do love Texas, but it's so true that here if it's bigger, it is, by all means, better. This has nothing to do with anything in particular except that is the one stereotype of Texas that I find to be true.

I always swore that I was never going to have a vehicle with a DVD player in it. (Mer, I think we talked about that once.) By golly, if I could play license plate games, so could my kids! Well, let me tell you that eating crow (Is that the correct use of that expression?) never tasted sooo good! The girls did great on the trip from MS to TX. They watched Peter Pan before nap and Little Mermaid after. That just about got us to Grand Prairie without a major meltdown. Notice I said, "almost." About an hour out from my dad's house, Aubrie decided that she'd had enough of the van. My mommy resources were slim. I had stayed up way too late the night before, and my Starbucks double shot was wearing off. I was threatening all kinds of torture if she didn't quiet down when Nanny called. Oh, did God ever know that I needed Nanny to call at that moment. Just hearing me say that Nanny was on the phone brought the first cessation of crying that we'd had in about 20 minutes. They talked about the kitties and how much Nanny loved her for a good while. Peace, silence, even some laughter! Thank the Lord for Nannies!! Aubrie hung up on Nanny a couple of times, but I was not daunted! I called her back and handed Aubrie the phone. "Wanna talk to Nanny?" Of course she did!! Several conversations later we were exiting off the highway. Aubrie began to cry again, but the end was in site. Besides, I was marveling at all the places that were just blocks from my dad's house...Khol's, Target, Starbucks, Taco Cabana. Oh, to be in the land of my birth!

So, I just rambled on and on without any paragraph breaks, but I'm far too tired to go back and decide where they should be. Gonna leave it like it is. Hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving with the people they love. I'm so looking forward to seeing some friends and visiting with family that haven't even met my younger two children...absolutely dreadful, I know.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Girls' Night

This weekend is the opening weekend of deer season so the girls and I planned a date night for last night. I love that they are so easy to please. We decided to make hot chocolate, s'mores and rent Aristocats. They were absolutely delighted with the plan and were hopped up on serious amounts of caffeine.

I was so glad it was chilly yesterday - it made it even more fun running our errands in the afternoon to get ready for our date. I tried to talk them into going outside for our treats, but they said it was too cold. My southern gals...

Instead, we lit a candle on the dining table to roast our marsh mellows, and Aubrie had a great time sharing with me. Her first s'mores - how fun!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Queen for a Day

Each week at Jessie's dance class one little girl gets to be the queen. Well, yesterday was finally her day. Of course, I think she was a graceful and elegant queen ruling over her subjects with justice and mercy!

A very wise women told me right before Todd and I were married that if I didn't feel like he was treating me like a queen, that I should ask myself if I was treating him like my king. Ouch! I really don't like that - I'd much rather whine about how I feel I should be treated. Of course, the prinicple is so true. Our love shouldn't be based on how we're being treated (which is actually much better than I deserve). After all, "Christ died for us while we were yet sinners."

So, my question for you today is, "Are you treating your man like a king?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Camping We Will Go

The first camping trip at the deer camp was a hit! Todd and Jerry wanted to try out their new tent before gun season opens and decided to take Emma along. I was a little sad to miss the occasion, but after Jessie and Aubrie being sick/teething for the last two weeks, I was glad for some Mommy time. (Jessie had a girls' night with Nan, and Aubrie and I went to Blockbuster and Bops, land of my weakness, the Moch Chocha Ya Ya.) Anyway, it was much-needed time for everyone involved!

As you can see, Emma is in her element in the great outdoors, and by all reports, had a wonderful time. Wildlife encountered: one owl, some crows, and two deer - one alive and one dead in a ditch.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Homemade Help

Okay, for the three or maybe four of you who read this, I need some help. I really love receiving homemade gifts, and this year I would like to give some. Now, granted, I don't have a lot of time - I think the holiday season has completely ambushed me this year. Two years ago I was finished Christmas shopping in Sept. Last year I was done by the end of October. I'm in trouble, folks.

So here's my plea - I need ideas of things I can do that are thoughtful and simple. Maybe something that you've given or received in the past. If I don't get any help, a lot of people are going to end up with banana bread!

I'm ready for your wonderful ideas!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Painting Pumpkins and Bridesmaids Already?

My girls wanted to pain pumpkins the other day so I let them. If you know me, you know I am NOT crafty so this was a great thrill for them, and we all had fun. Notice I laid newspaper down on the table, but Emma managed to get paint under the paper. She is my girl! I even let Aubrie paint - she did eat a little but not enough to do any harm!

Hope you take time to enjoy whatever makes your fall fun!

P.S. I almost forgot. Emma started naming her bridesmaids the other day. This from the girl who says she's never going to marry so she can live with us forever!

This is only a test...

'Tis the season for colds, and our house has already experienced it's share. We really needed to bite the bullet and see the doctor so this morning I called and made an appointment. I knew it was going to be tight - we had 45 min. to get ready. Not much for me and three wee ones who were still finishing up breakfast! We rushed around, and I determined that there was not time for "fixing" my hair and doing the whole make-up thing. Au not my favorite way to leave the house.

We get buckled in only 5 minutes late which is really good for me. Plus, it takes all of 2 seconds to get to our doctor's office around the corner. I put the key in the ignition, turn the key, nothing, nada; the thing doesn't even pretend to turn over. Back inside we all go. Cancelled appointment, tow truck called.

In my brain, I hear the words, "This is only a test." I have to admit I did let a few tears fall in the van - such a girl moment for me. But then, I remembered lines from one of my favorite books of all time, The Hiding Place, when Corrie's sister Betsie is praising God for the lice in their barracks. Corrie is less-than-enthusiastic in this exercise but goes along for the ride. Later, they find out that they are able to hold their Bible study in the barracks because the guards won't come in for fear of catching the lice.

Okay, I'm not in a German concentration camp - my test is so small in comparison, but I think the principle is still the same! God has a purpose in the van not starting. Maybe it's just to see if I'll loose it or not - something I'm constantly having to pray about. Whatever the reason, God is sovereign, and there is much peace in that!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Price of Things Lost

I actually wrote this a few days ago when I decided that I would eventually start a blog and knew I would want to share this. By the way, I found the ring a few hours later when I wasn't even looking for it!

Today I lost a ring that belonged to my grandmother. Inside, I was crushed. I’m pretty sure that my grandfather made the ring as jewelry-making was a hobby of his. Anyway, I decided, contrary to my nature, not to freak out and make a big scene about my loss. I simply told the girls that if they saw it anywhere, to let me know. No time spent searching or bemoaning my loss.

I thought about my possessions for a minute. Yes, the ring was precious to me, but how much more would the Lord require from me as we prepare to go overseas. I’m a pack rat – I love old things, and as we’ve had the most storage space over the years, most of my family’s “old” things have been kept at our house. What am I going to do with them? The thought of selling them makes me sick to my stomach. I’m hoping my sisters and my dad will take some of them (hint-hint), but I know their space is limited, too.

Next, my thoughts went to wedding presents that had been given to us ten years ago and what would become of them. “Wow, this is going to hurt.” We love our house and our modest furnishings inside. We have a small house that we like to call a cottage – seems less dumpy that way. I’m by no means an interior decorator, but the things inside our house are full of memories. I think we’ve bought one “new” piece of furniture in ten years, and it looks old. The rest are hand-me-downs, all the things no one else had room for that I couldn’t bear to part with.

Chalk this up to one of many areas the Lord is going to have to carve away in me. I’ll probably always love old things and continue to cherish the past. My prayer is that I won’t get that “torn” feeling inside when I think about parting with them. After all, what cost is it really? What more did Jesus give up to come and rescue me? I pray that whether we stay or go, that my heart will forever be changed about my “things” - that I will never cling too tightly to things on which the moths and dust are going to have a hay day!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My First Post

Since we've applied to go overseas with the International Mission Board, keeping everyone up-to-date on our progress is getting more and more difficult. Not because there's much going on in the process right now - I just can't remember what I've told to whom! I'm hoping that this blog will be a way for me to work through the many thoughts I have everyday about what life will look like in maybe less-than-a-year from now.

On that note, my first post has nothing to do with mission work - instead, I have pics of the girls from last night. I'll try to be more thoughtful next time around! Oh, and I worked on this, but I couldn't figure out how to get my pictures to post under my text. Just imagine that they're there.