Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Parade!

Yaya is Princess Tiana from the Frog Princess…she has never seen the movie, she simply loves green. Eden is Doc McStuffins! So proud of both my girls for bravely parading around yesterday!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Krispy Kreme Makes Everyone Happy

Spontaneous trip to Krispy Kreme! Walking into the building, the children decided we all had to hold hands forming a circle to walk in. I’m not sure why, but it lent to the togetherness feel of the day. Once inside, pandemonium ensued. It was all I could do to order 4 doughnuts, 3 waters and get the kids to sit at a table. There is just something magical about the doughnut conveyor belt system, you just must press your face against the glass and drool...I mean watch.

EVERYONE wore hats.
EVERYONE ate doughnuts.
EVERYONE had a great time.
TWO little girls had: “post sugar rush let down.”

Krispy Kreme 1 copyKrispy Kreme 2 copy

Friday, October 18, 2013

17 Months Post Gotcha Day…How Are Things REALLY?

Friends, it has been a long 17 months. I can’t remember our old “normal” anymore. I don’t know what new “normal'” actually looks like either; but I am getting glimpses of it and it is GRAND! It is with a lighter heart that I blog today because, by in large things are actually going well for the Williamsons. God has walked with us through the fire and led us out. Sure, we still have our fiery days, we always will I believe, however, we are better equipped to handle them now 17 months later. I read a blog the other day by Jen the Hatmaker, she is brilliant. It talked about this very thing and how a year and a half later life was just as hard as the first 6 months home, but in different ways. I totally agree. It is just as hard, but now I have tools to help navigate these difficult times. Our family has been blessed with so many amazing professionals that have worked so hard on behalf of our daughters and son and have trained us how to best parent them. I don’t know where we would be without these amazing ladies.

We have had many victories here in 2013:

  1. Successfully repaired Yaya’s palate,
  2. Got Yaya to eat solid foods,
  3. Won Eden back to being the affectionate little girl she used to be, 
  4. Started speech and are seeing great progress in communication,
  5. No more diapers!
  6. Both girls are happily in preschool,
  7. Found a fantastic church in our neighborhood,
  8. All children are happily in church classes and Eric and I get to worship,
  9. Noah started and loves homeschool,
  10. God has done a huge sanctifying work in Mama’s life,
  11. Yaya and Noah both are in their own beds upstairs!
  12. We have reclaimed our marriage (cross reference back to: no more kids in our bedroom at night!)

There is a list of just a dozen wonderful things God has brought to our family. Yaya is really doing well, she is back in a season of anxiousness, most of which we believe is related to starting preschool. She loves preschool mind you, but it is still stressful for her. Also, with Eric haven been on furlough (thanks Congress and Obama) he is home and Mama had to go back to work.  I was gone a lot. This has been hard on all the children, especially Eden. We are seeing some anger out of her again but it isn’t anything we can’t manage. Noah doesn’t work as well with Eric in the homeschool arena but they are worked it out and I believe they  found a way to do school “cool”. I missed being at home with Noah and doing homeschool with him.  Praise the Lord for homeschool though, it is such a gift to our family, especially during the time of uncertainty with Eric’s job.

As we enter the fall season, we know life will settle back down as Eric has returned to work and I have return home. We are in a complicated season, but it is filled with much more joy, freedom and hope than ever before. Keep us in your prayers and God continues to mold and shape the hearts of our family, making us into the people he created us to be, to serve him, serve others and give him all the glory.


BMX Track

Riding a bicycle is a fairly new thing for Noah. He has known for several years how to “ride”, but it has only been in our driveway or on a flat asphalt track at a local school. Increasingly, Noah can be found on his bike. So I decided it was time to take him “off-roading”! Last Monday we got up early and did our homeschool work. Around 10:30 a.m. Eric loaded up bikes for the three of us and we headed to a local state park which had a BMX track. Oh glorious day, oh glorious day! It was beautiful! We got there and excitement was in the air, and then Noah saw the track and it morphed into abject fear. However, to his credit he road the entire course. The beginning of the track has a lot of high step hills. We took those slowly. Nearing the end of the track there are little hills, reminding me of that old school green corrugated roofing. Noah enjoyed those immensely! We never “got any air” but we sure had fun. Eric only ran off the course into a fence one time and I only rammed  the top of a hill with my pedal twice, not resulting in any embarrassing off-roading. After riding the last half of the track a million times, we took a  ride on the big road that encircles the track. Skidding perfectly, about 9 feet to a halt next to me, Noah grinned like a Cheshire cat, so proud of himself. Shaking my head and smiling back, I responded. “Cool, Noah. That was awesome!” And it was indeed.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Those Little Scribbles

Okay so here are some “scribbles” from my trio. The first two are of Yaya and Eden attempting to write their names. (Yaya prefers to write, Hope, but be called Yaya…whatever). P.S. Eden can now write her name beautifully this was back on August 9, 2013, two months ago.

The last one is a note I left for Noah on the white board, and he added his own note under mine that I found much later in the day. Please check out that he wrote back in beautiful cursive!


First Day of Preschool Pictures

I’m not sure how I missed these pictures but I feel the need to have them put up here for posterity. So here are the first day of school pictures.

Aug 20133

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend’s true highlight was a homemade slip and slide. The weather was just a bummer. It rained almost the whole weekend which kept the kids cooped up inside looking longingly at Grandma’s “Big Beach” and the lake. But when the heavens opened and it poured down rain, and I mean poured, the greatest moment of the weekend happened. God love my Mom, she was amazing. She led the kids out into the driveway to play in the summer rain, but when it became a torrential downpour she broke out the floaties and tarp and thus this video was born. I. Love. My. Mom.

One of my favorite moments was a visit to the home of some sweet friends of ours, Linda and Gene. We went over to see hummingbirds. They have about a million of them buzzing around their home. The hilarious thing was that when we would stand still on the porch to view them, they wouldn’t come. But if we got distracted on the same porch they would dive bomb us from all sides. It was fun to watch the hummingbirds…well glimpse them. We got to play in the yard a bit and stay and chat awhile. It was lovely!

Sept 2013

We seem to have a good time wherever we go, and we had a good Labor Day weekend. Looking forward to more weekends out and about.

Random August Cuteness

Aug 20131Aug 20132

Noah & Yaya Date with Mommy

In an effort to get alone time with each of our children, Eric took Eden out on a date. I have no pictures of that because, well, Eric was in charge of that date. At the same time I took Noah and Yaya to the McWance Science center, a hands on kids science museum thing. We had a great time as evidenced below.

Aug 2013 mcwane trip

Homeschooling with Noah

3 words…LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Fun-filled, knowledge gaining, spiritual wonderful days! Can you tell I’m glad we homeschool? Lest you think this is all one-sided…think again, Noah really enjoys it too! We are Classical Conversations (C.C. – I will from this point forward refer to Classical Conversations as C.C.) junkies now, I am totally sold out on the program, as is Noah. We go every Wednesday to our campus to learn our Foundation grammar (History, English, Science, Latin, Geography, & math facts and such) and to learn the Essentials of the English Language and Stylistic Writing. While there, they always so a science experiment as a class, a topical presentation, we just finished our 6 weeks of art now we are moving on to 6 weeks of learning music and how to play the Tin Whistle. Noah’s first class is with 7 other kids ranging in age from 4th to 7th grade. His second class is with 5 other kids with the same age spread (but all boys!!) Here are some pictures of class, science, art, and recess!


As you can see our Wednesdays are very interactive and a whole lot of fun! The other days of the week aren’t as high energy here at h0me but we do enjoy the flexibility that homeschool offers. One day we just went out to a state park and walked around on the trails. We ate a great lunch by a stream and really enjoyed each other, nature and talking about our faith together. Some days we do C.C. park play dates, or hang out with our other C.C. friends. We have incorporated a workout routine on Noah’s off days from the gym. He challenged me to do push ups on day…it was sad. I gotta buff up. We did some bird watching one day for science and identified a raven…folks that is one big black bird. Some days it is hard to motivate my son to do some of the more mundane things of education. For example, you just have to learn your multiplication tables, we can’t just play multiplication Uno all the time, you gotta write it out. We do a devotional everyday and I read out loud to him. That is my favorite thing to do together by far. Spending time in the word of the Lord with Noah and getting to snuggle up on the couch and read some of my favorite books to him has been such a gift. We do a lot of  “car-school” too. What is so great about almost everything we do is that he can do it “on the go.” He is a kid that doesn’t get sick reading in the car, so often we will just take homeschool on the road to whatever event we want to do or have to do. I really like the freedom we have and the accountability I have with C.C. The C.C. community is wonderful. I have met some of the most amazing Mama’s in there AND Noah has some great friends. It is such a gift from God that we are getting to do this. It isn’t all rainbows and unicorns but it is so much better than anything else we have done. I wouldn’t trade this time and experience for anything!Friends, he is learning SO DADGUM MUCH! I can’t believe the things he is committing to memory and the questions he asks for further research. It is just awesome! Can’t say enough good thing about C.C.!

Preschool Update…well and Introduction too

Friends I am a bit behind on blogging…forgive me please. I shall begin back in August! Yikes, it is October! Time, where have you gone? Yes, ahem, preschool. We had a “meet the teacher” a few days before my two littles would embark on their next great social adventure.  Their teacher is Ms. Mary, and may I just say that we are in love with her? Ms. Mary has been teaching 3 year olds for 16 years, I believe she is a saint. She is very grandmotherly and the girls instantly took a liking to her. Their names were on the door and up on the wall and while we were there they each colored a picture that Ms. Mary put up on the wall in a premade frame. So their art was showcased for all to see before we left. She even put up a fingerspelling chart for Yaya and the kids will be learning their manual alphabet this year too!  School started a few days later and the girls just hopped out of the car and happily walked in. They have done this almost everyday since! They like Ms. Mary,  like their friends, enjoy a class called “Happy Feet” (P.E.), enjoy chapel, lunch and playground time. They transitioned beautifully. We have had some regression with potty training for both girls and Yaya’s sleep was greatly disrupted and continues to be. Nighttime is when Yaya works out most of her anxiety, God love the child. Ms. Mary has been outstanding with Yaya! Yaya is included in on everything and when Ms. Mary does something intended just to help Yaya she presents it to the entire class so it appears as if it is for the whole class to know and learn. Which actually does help the entire class. I am so impressed how Ms. Mary beautifully balances sensitivity and attention to Yaya without singling her out. We just had open house last night and the girls showed us their room and Ms. Mary had, “All About Me,” books out on the table. It was such a work of care and love. They had all these interesting facts about each child, some art work, things that told us what they did each day and two pages full of candid pictures of our children and an informal class picture! It is amazing! How Ms. Mary did all this I don’t know. All this to say preschool 4 days a week rocks and it allows me to focus on Noah and his home schooling. Here are some classroom shots. I love the self portraits. As a note, Eden doesn’t have 4 eyes. The outer brown dots are cheeks! So cute!