Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year - New Plans - New Life

The year 2014 was wonderful, it was a quiet year after the chaos of building and moving. We spend time together as a family resting and playing games and getting back in touch after a rough 6 months of house building chaos, living in boxes, frustrations, & overall chaos. We rested and got settled. John built the shop he has always dreamed of and we built a fence for the property. Life slowed in July so we took the Foster Parenting classes we had been praying about for years. I spent the next 5 months slowly combing through the paperwork and requirements and rules so we would be complete by the New Year!

October 20 - surprise I awoke anxious to leave with Abby the next day, my birthday, to visit Oregon. Instead I found out, along with my entire company of 17 years, that our company had been sold. I later found out in December that I would be part of the group being let go in March. Wow.

So here I am, my world will shift completely  in the next 4 months. It is all good, God is  good and has been preparing my heart for these changes for many years. I would be a liar though if I didn't say I am a bit lost. I've always known who I was and what I did every day. I worked and taught and kept the house - granted at a crazy busy speed. Now that work is slowing, crawling really and our finances will be cut in half - its a lot for me to take in. I am always had my work, always had a consistent paycheck. I have worked with the same people for 17 years, that is longer than I've been married. Saying good bye to all of that is very hard.

Life is hard and good and changing all the time. I will not deny its going to be rough and hard for me to find my new self, new pace, new schedule. But I know that God has orchestrated all things together for His glory and His ways are so much better than anything I could dream about. So I try to rest in Him and His promises. I will worship like I've never worshiped before and teach like I've never taught before and keep house like I always wished I had time for. I will also get depressed and cry and question too, because those are  real thoughts and fears and changes. But I will overcome because I don't' really have a choice.

I am very blessed and have an amazing family to support me during this transition.

I am also excited to give out of this season of grief - give to the little life that will be coming into our home needing a safe place to find peace and care and  comfort. We are all very eager to welcome in a new child to serve and love deeply on.

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.”



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Inscriptions for Gabe ~ 7th Birthday

 Dear Gabe,

Today you are 7! What an amazing year you have had, growing up in so many ways to become a responsible, godly man. This year we moved to a new house, it was quite an adjustment but you looked on it as an exciting adventure!

You have grown this year, you have learned to value responsibility and keep your wallet, watch and knife on you all the time. That is impressive! You learned to empty the dish washer and make your bed. I am so proud of you, your mind is so sharp and you memorize things so easily. Always use that mind of yours for good and never look down on others who don't quite catch on as quickly.

This school year you moved from leveled books to chapter books - your first was the Magic Tree House series. You love to read yet struggle to sit still because you'd rather be outside playing!

In math this year you whizzed through Alpha (1st Grade) and then started Teaching Textbooks 3. You have flourished in Math this year!

 In church you are suppose to be in 1st grade, but you love your brother so much you convinced your teacher to let you hang out with the 3rd grade class. You grow up too much, always tagging along behind Drew. The two of you are inseparable and you keep up with him so well, its almost like having twins instead of you being 3 years apart. You both have the same friends and you are now doing the same school work (for the most part). I'm so proud of you for using your mind for good and challenging yourself !
 Gabers, you are such a protective big brother to your little sister! You keep your eyes on her all the time and protect her from danger. You just received an electric scooter and you did not want her to ride it for fear of her getting hurt.

You are very social, Drew is content to play for an hour or so but then comes inside to rest and play by himself, but you get energized by being around lots of people. You love playing with all the kids in the neighborhood and sometimes talk so quickly no one can understand you. You love to share and play with friends! You get that from your daddy!
I will leave you this year with a charge from Hebews 6: " Therefore  move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[a] and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so." 

Gabe this year  I pray you will grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. I pray you will move beyond the basic teaching and become more mature, with a foundation of repentance and faith in God.

Love,
Momma

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Math 3 - Complete

I'm so proud of Drew, he started Third grade Math in November and has finished all 118 lessons. He is so excited to have completed his Math lessons. I want to praise his diligence and perseverance. It wasn't easy and there were days when he wanted to quit, but with some prodding from his Teacher, he pushed through.

I am so proud of my little Math wiz!

Mommy AKA Teacher

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

6 Things to Get Excited About When Living in the Country





1. Chickens - oh how I love chickens, they are so funny and personable. They are also way cheaper than a horse!

2. I can landscape as much as my checkbook allows!

3. You never know what little critters will be waiting outside the door - this morning it was a cute little box turtle!

4. Coffee is sweeter and more enjoyable on a front porch overlooking the green shaded lawn.

5. Kids have so much room to run and jump and climb, that might explain why Abby only gained 2 inches in height and 2 pounds in weight in an entire year!

6. Family time is more frequent when its done in daddy's new shop!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kittens

 We adopted three male kittens to contain our mouse population. They are so cute! The kids have named them: Lion, Tiger, and Rosebud. Can you guess who named their kitty Rosebud? Abby didn't care that it was a boy, it was going to have a girl name!

They are loving country life, sleeping in the garage and playing with the dog. They are  not too sure about the chickens that come over to the front porch, or the neighbors ducks.

The kids are in love and cart them everywhere. They seem well adjusted despite my children's mailing!
Rosebud & Tiger


Lion on the prowl

See, they fit our family well, even the kittens love books!

Friday, April 25, 2014