Thursday, September 30, 2010

Death and Life

So, just a few minutes ago, Jessie comes into my room crying (not an unusual occurrence), but she did seem a little more upset than normal.  “Aubrie said that she knows something that’s not special about me.”  Now, I’m not sure if that was supposed to be, “Aubrie thinks I’m not special,” or if Aubrie knows one secret, tucked-away thing about Jessie that’s not special which really wouldn’t be so terrible.  I’m guessing the first idea is what was implied.

After reassuring Jessie that she is indeed amazingly special in every way – insert lots o’ hugs – I called Aubrie into my chambers. 

Sometimes being a mom feels a little like being the grim reaper.  “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.” 

So, I explain to Aubrie that her words hurt Jessie.

Aubrie: Words don’t hurt.  They can’t hurt.

Mom: Oh, yes they do.

Aubrie: No they don’t.

Mom:  Aubrie… (one of us is supposed to be the adult in this scenario)

So, the rest of the story is that we both say THE VERSE: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”  Prov: 18:21  The truth is that the adult in this story needs the reminder as much as the little turkey does.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Discipleship

Most folks who know me know that I LOVE homeschooling and wish everyone would try it.  However, I really think that home discipleship is a far more important issue.  I can homeschool my sweet ones all day, make sure their academics are rigorous, plan numerous field trips, and schedule extensive science and history projects.  I can make sure that they learn several foreign languages, play piano, and participate in sports, dance etc. and completely miss the boat. 

I can still have unruly, undisciplined children.

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” Proverbs 29:15

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”  Proverbs 13:24

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.”  Proverbs 22:15"

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

I can still fail to teach the girls to love the Lord and His ways.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-9

I can still unwisely plan our calendar.

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”              I Corinthians 15:33

I can miss true knowledge and wisdom and just fill their heads with “stuff.” 

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.”  Psalm 111:10

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”      I Corinthians 1:21

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”  Colossians 2:8

While I obviously think that schooling choices are important, it would seem that much more important is what we do with the time we have with our children.  What are we intentionally or unintentionally pouring into their lives?  I wish I could say that we started out with an understanding of home discipleship vs. homeschooling, but we didn’t, and I’m sure there is so much more that we still don’t “get.”  I was pouring myself into the girls’ academics with little thought given to anything else.

For us, the motivation to homeschool has become a mission of multi-generational faithfulness, that our children and their children will walk with the Lord and not turn away from Him.  God gives us His plan for this again in Deuteronomy 6. 

"Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.”  Deuteronomy 6:1-2

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun in Vicksburg

While driving past the Civil War Military Park in Vicksburg two weeks ago (actually three weeks ago now since I forgot to post this), I commented to Todd how sad it was that no one had ever taken me to see it.  He was surprised to realize that I had never been (We both love history.) and made a plan for us to drive through it that day.  We didn’t have much time, but your entry pass is good for seven days.  So, we did the zip-through tour, and the girls and I made a plan to come back the next week when we could soak it all in. 

Can I just say that I NEVER thought I would run into anyone who wanted to see it all at a museum, park, what-have-you more than me, but our girls gave me a run for my money.  I was like, “Let’s just stop at the major tour stops.”  Seriously, we could have been there all day.  Or several days. 

military park (3)military parkmilitary park (2)

After our tour, we cooled off (Again, I will whine about the heat.) at the Vicksburg art park.  So much fun, and I did not mind getting splashed occasionally.  Not one bit. 

water parkwater park (2)water park (3)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Backyard Summer Fun

When we can stand the heat, we have really enjoyed our backyard so far this summer.  The garden is growing, and we’re figuring out what to plant next spring and what not to plant.  Also finding out that the planting dates really do matter as you can tell by our sad cabbage that just didn’t make a head because of the heat.   We’ve got LOTS of tomatoes, cucumbers have been pretty good, and the squash and zucchini have been fair.  They started out pretty well, and then got some kind of disease.  So, some fruit makes, and some falls off the plant after it shrivels up and dies.

The most fun garden news is that we FINALLY have a watermelon that just might be large enough to eat on the 4th.  We thought we were going to have all vine and no fruit, but those suckers grow fast once they appear.

fun in backyard

The girls got swings from Nan and Pops and cannot wait to go outside in the morning to get on them.  We have the typical arguments about sharing swings and whose swing is the most fun.  I think the basic, standard, plain ol’ swing gets the most use! 

more fun (2)more fun (3) more fun 

The weathermen say that we may get a reprieve from the heat this week, and I say, “Bring it on!”  We survived a record heat summer in TX last year, and I was so looking forward to the milder (about 5-10 degrees milder) summer temps in MS.  I’ll gladly take some extra humidity for the cooler temps.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Birthday Video (for Papaw and the Aunties)

I sadly didn’t get too many good pictures at Jessie’s and Aubrie’s birthday party, but we did get some good video of the cake moment.

Since May is a toss-up for heat and humidity (It can either be really pleasant or really miserable.), we asked everyone to don swimsuits and turned on the sprinkler – it was a LOT on the miserable side. The kiddos also painted ladybugs on their ladybug houses, and a good friend, Miss Karen, painted ladybugs (and a few butterflies and flip flops) on their faces. We have some wonderful friends who endured heat and pesky flies in order to wish Jessie and Aubrie a happy birthday. Thank you!

video

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Thirteen years ago Todd and I began the wild ride called marriage.  It is amazing to look back at who we were then and who we are now and marvel at how God makes the two one.  In a day of gender blending, confusion and role reversals, I am so thankful for a husband who looks to God’s word for his role as husband and father and who understands that our roles are different but neither less worthy or important than the other.

I started out in marriage thinking that I would do my “job” as long as he was doing his.  Man, does that lead to a big mess.  Since then, I’ve been so blessed to read several books that have pointed me back to the Word for how a wife and mother is to conduct herself.  The life-changer is understanding that I fulfill my role regardless.  When I go back to my conditional behavior (if he does x, then I’ll do y), things can get ugly quickly.

I posted on FB this morning that I’m thankful for the mystery of marriage for it truly is a mystery to me that if we follow God’s plan for surrender and death to self, that the blessings can be so utterly amazing and lead us to places that we never could have imagined. 

A friend said something last summer that really resonated with me.  “I want to understand God’s role for me and then quit fighting against it. I want to find contentment in it and rest there.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One Month Old

Our garden was planted a month ago today, and we are amazed at how things have taken off.  We harvested the rest of our radishes last night and need to figure out something else to go in that square!

  SFG 002SFG 001

We also took some pictures of the girls last week – they had as much fun as I did picking out fun places to “shoot.” 

Mynell Gardens 120Mynell Gardens 154 

Jessie Claire

Mynell Gardens 064

Aubrie Ann

Mynell Gardens 203

Patience Emory (aka, Emma)

Getting into our life here in Clinton is taking some time, but slowly the Lord is showing us where He wants us.  So wish I could occasionally fast forward!  One thing we are SO looking forward to is the Homeschool Conference this month in Starkville.  We just finished (well, Todd has finished, and I am in-progress) reading Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, and he is one of the main speakers.  Can not wait! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Know It’s Bad When

your dad is asking you to update your blog because he misses his grandkids.

So Sorry!

The two major happening in the Williams fam are the puppy and our square foot garden.  The puppy is DEFINITELY more work!  Her name is Brown Sugar – Sugar, for short.  She is super smart and just about potty trained inside.  I know I am very thankful for this.  We’ve had her about a week-and-a-half, and I was up with her more the first two nights than I was when we had babies in the house.  Ugh.  Those nights are much better now, although she still thinks that 3 am is a good time for a party.  I do not.

IMG_4634  IMG_4632

Our other new endeavor is the garden.  We, a.k.a Todd, built two 4x8 beds complete with weed backing and Mel’s Mix from the book Square Foot Gardening.  So far, things are taking off.  I need to take some new pictures, actually, because the tomato plants are much taller now.  The girls have pretty much taken over this project, watering every day and picking weeds.  We can’t wait to start eating out of our own back yard!

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Monday, March 8, 2010

The Summer Olympics?

Today for our history lesson we studied the beginnings and history of the Olympics.  The girls were really excited about this because what little Olympics we watched this winter, they were really into.  (I know that’s really bad grammar but too much in a hurry to fix it!)  I won’t even go into how frustrating it was to close on a house the day the Olympics started and the fact that once we were pseudo settled, we didn’t have a converter box to pick up any channels.  Okay, so I sort of went into it, but you gotta feel some of my pain.  And, I realize I sound like a complete whiner, but it’s the Olympics, people!

So something I didn’t know that was surprising: The last Greek Olympics were in A.D. 395 because Olympia was destroyed by an earthquake.  They weren’t reinstated until the late 1800s.  Am I the only one who missed this is my history classes?  I just assumed they’d been going on since the Greek time.  Maybe I shouldn’t publicly admit that…

We went back to the “roots” of the games and had five competitions: a foot race, arm wrestling (The Greeks just wrestled, but I figured this was safer.), jumping, discus (plastic lid throwing)  and throwing the javelin (or a really big stick).  I captured some of competitions and just love the very competitive looks on my girls’ faces.  If you know them, this won’t surprise you a bit.  They are very tenacious girls.  Very feminine, but very determined.

Olympics 102

Notice Aubrie lost in Aubrie-land.

Olympics 118

Here’s some of that determination in action!

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Olympics 130

Olympics 143

Olympics 153

Olympics 156

The Winner’s Circle

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sun Shines Again

So glad that the sun decided to make a lengthy appearance today! We thoroughly took advantage of such beautiful weather. We played with friends, came home to rest a little and played some more! I am loving that the girls are enjoying the back yard and have discovered all sorts of fun hiding places. I have a little chuckle every time I hear, “Ready or not, here I come!”

As a matter of fact, they’ve become rather good at hiding inside the house as well, and they had me completely stumped the other day. I was beginning to wonder if they had slipped outside. I’m still not sure how I didn’t see them in the laundry room. It’s not that big, and I LOOKED in there!

We had a really great week of homeschooling and basically stayed on-schedule which is a MAJOR feat for us. Seems like life is always interrupting our schedule. The other big news for the week is that our heater was fixed today! Oh, how I love heat when it’s cold outside. I had taken to moving the space heater to whatever room we were in. So thankful for our home warranty, too. I was trying not to complain when people were asking me how I was liking our new house because I really do love it, but I HATE being cold. Every now and then I over romanticize the Little House on the Prairie days, and then I remember that Laura did NOT have central heat and air and come back to reality!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Painting, Cleaning and Lots o’ Fun

We were able to close on our house in MS this past Friday despite the several inches of snow on the ground.  Our resident meteorologists (Poppy and Emma) tell us that there was between five and six inches.  We built snowmen, made snow ice cream and kept mom busy washing the layers and layers of clothes they got wet and dirty in the snow.  What a first day back in Clinton! 

We then went to work picking out paint colors.  I am so challenged in this area.  I know what I like, but I have no idea how to go from paint swatch to what it’s actually going to look like on a wall.  Our good friend Kristy came to our rescue with her paint samples and touch-up paint, and we have successfully painted the living room, one of the girls’ rooms and our bedroom.  I say successfully only because we’ve decided that we’re not trying to fix anything else.  I don’t know if it’s the eggshell finish, or if we’re just stinky painters, but we could NOT get rid of some of our roller lines.  Ugh.  We’re hoping that when furniture arrives and things are hung on walls that we won’t notice them so much. 

After finishing up our painting this afternoon we shifted gears to cleaning up before the truck arrives.  We have basically worked until we’re both pooped!  But, we have had so much fun getting our house ready to be a home and have not had so much “alone time” in FOREVER!  We even got to have a date Friday night.  Yahoo!  Thanks to Nan and Pops and to the Kysers who have made it possible for us to get this much done in such a little time.

We are so thankful to stand around and truly count our many blessings and are in awe of all that God has done for us.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Good News!

We got our appraisal back a day early, and we’re all set!  Yahoo!  Thanks so much for praying for this step.  So, I have new life breathed into my packing efforts which were a little slow today, to say the least.  Ugh.  So hate packing.  My goal for this evening is to have the office junk sorted through and packed away. 

Thanks so much for the office ideas so far… definitely thinking the closet may be an option.  And, a cute basket or two might help with some of our other office clutter that needs to stay handy.  I could really use my stackable drawers for homeschooling/crafty stuff which seems unending but is much more organized!

Mer, I was wondering if the book you recommended, Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, had any suggestions about office space.  I don’t think the box it’s in has been taped up…may have to take a peek this evening.

A Little Advice for a Big Mess

So, our appraisal is supposed to happen tomorrow, and I will try to remember to let you know how it goes.  Praying for God’s plan to unfold.

In the mean time, we are packing as if everything is going forward which brings me to my need for advice. Our office-type stuff is such a huge mess!   We are so hodgepodge in this area, and it’s about to drive me crazy. 

We need space for the following:

income tax records

past bills

insurance claims records

vehicle info – registration and titles

tape, staplers, calculators, envelopes, rulers, paper clips, stamps, notepads, computer paper

USB cords for cameras

software

blank CDs and DVDs  

I really want to turn over a new leaf when we move and somehow pull together a cohesive way of storing all our stuff.  So, where/how do you store your “office” type stuff?  Also, how long do you keep bills/medical records, etc.?  I tend to be a little bit of a packrat so I need some advice in this area, too.  I realize I could probably go online for this sort of advice, but I don’t have the time right now.  Maybe later.

All of our stuff is contained in a two-drawer filing cabinet, a plastic filing box, stackable drawers and a tray set I used when I taught school a million years ago.  It all looks very dorm-room somehow (not to mention messy), and for someone who has been out of college for a VERY long time, this just seems so unacceptable.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that all this junk is in our bedroom which is just a disaster.  We used to have an office nook so it wasn’t really an issue because we could easily hide it all.  We’re not sure yet where it’s going to end up in the new house, but I think I need to get my brain going on some creative solutions.  I would LOVE your suggestions because we obviously need serious help.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week’s Snapshot

Well, we passed inspection last week. Yeah! So, that means that we get to move on to appraisal this week. Sometime. It would really be nice to know when this is going to take place since I have a long list of things that need to get done if this part happens the way we hope it will. Change of address, utilities, etc.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are pack-it-up days, and Thursday the girls and I head to Grand Prairie to take care of some stuff with my dad. Friday night is our last homegroup – lots of tissue going to be needed here, and Saturday we drive to San Antonio for Judah's first birthday party. Sunday, of course is our last service at RVCF and the Super Bowl with friends.

Sorry for the list-like post, but I want to keep folks, who are interested, in the loop. I will try to update about the appraisal as soon as I know something. Thanks for praying for us!

Friday, January 22, 2010

On the Go?

Thinking maybe I should change the blog name.  Just thinkin’. 

Anyway, our trip to MS went really well, and we were able to find a couple of houses that would work for the fam.  We were able to put a contract on a house just down the street from Jill which makes all of us very excited.  (I’m sorry if any of this information is a repeat for you, but I find that I’m leaving people out of the loop so this is an effort to avoid that!)  We have our inspection on Monday and will just need to get through the appraisal after that.  If those things happen to cross your mind, sure would appreciate your prayers for us.  All hoops jumped through, and we’ll close February 12 – that’s not that far away!  Scary.

I am finally able to think about the move without tears.  This last trip did wonders for my excitement level about the move.  I still can’t “talk” about the move with my friends here w/o some emotion, but I figure that may just be something I have to live with. 

Tomorrow is “re-pack the garage day.”  Let me say, that I am looking forward to this with much trepidation.  Since we thought we were going to be renting for a short while, we didn’t unpack all our boxes, and in some cases just unpacked part of a box.  We’re going to try to go through all that stuff and get the boxes move-ready.  I’m hoping to find lots that I can part with since I haven’t needed much of it for the last year.   One would think that we travel lightly since we’ve had so many moves, but I am hopelessly attached to way too many things!  I’m going to try to be a little less sentimental – I can still remember where most of our wedding presents came from, and I just feel guilty letting those things go.  Sad, I know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Moving… Again.

If you’ve known our family for any length of time, you know that we have been really mobile.  Sorry for those of you who try to keep us on your Christmas card list!  We are headed back east to Mississippi, and I’m not sure where to begin the tale, but I’m going to do my best!

The economy.  The cost of living here is much higher than MS, and with the economy really messing things up, the “promotion” to come to TX ended up being a lateral move.  Had we our crystal ball in hand, we would not have uprooted our family for that. 

The mission.  Also, we’ve been asking ourselves what the purpose of our little family is.  This has helped us in making this very difficult decision.  One of our main goals is keeping me at home.  We feel that this is much more doable in MS than here.  Our dollar stretches further there for housing which is probably the biggest consideration.  Also, there are other factors about Todd’s job in MS which allow for a richer family and professional life.  This was a big deal for us.

The unknown.  So, why did God move us to TX only to move us back to MS a year later?  I have no idea!  But, I do know that the experiences and friends we have had here have enriched our lives beyond our craziest imaginings.  It has been a true season of blessing for us.  Will the Williams clan ever go to Africa?  I’m sure it’s a question that many are afraid to ask, and for those who have asked, they have gotten no clear answer.  Again, I have no idea! 

As We Go.  When Todd was at DBU taking Greek, “we” learned that the little word “go” means, “as you go.”  As you go to the grocery store, as you get your oil changed, as you train up your children, as you go to another country, perhaps.  I have no clue what the future holds for us.  I do know that we plan to be apart of God’s work wherever we may be.

The hard part.  Saying good-bye to all our wonderful friends and to our church.  I plan on bringing tissue with me to every service we’re able to attend from here on out.  As a matter of fact, I may just carry it with me all the time.  You would think after so many moves, this would be a snap by now, but I still have a really hard time with this part.  Your prayers are very much needed and appreciated!