Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Christmas Letter ~ 2008

It's been several years since I've written a Christmas Letter from the Williams' family. Since most of you have already gotten our Christmas card from this year, you know that this year is no exception. However, there are a few things from 2008 that I'd like to remember...humor me as I take a little walk through this past year in the life of our family.

Obviously, the most memorable thing about this past year happened in February. We welcomed another blond beauty to our family. Katie has melted into us as if she's been here all along. She's got a flair for the unexpected, likes to cuddle before sleeping, has a delightful laugh, adores her big sisters, lights up for no one else like she does her daddy, and loves her momma!

Her birth started the whirlwind of the next several months as we decided to sell our first home. It was quite an ordeal--one in which we learned a lot about ourselves and a lot about other people. We moved into a beautiful home in June and are still settling in to our new space.

Ella Grace has grown from toddler hood into a little girl over the past year. She has a sensitive spirit that is a delight to watch. She is creative--her favorite pastime involves scissors, glue, scrap paper, stickers, etc. We are excited to watch as the Lord continues to pursue her heart!

Annabelle--our middle girl--puts a smile on every one's face! She fills the role of little sister and big sister perfectly! Her sense of humor and independent spirit keep us on our toes. She loves to give hugs and kisses and wins the hearts of almost everyone she meets.

Eric and I? We've been busy! The adjustment to three kids has been...well...let's just say, an adjustment! Eric continues work on his Ph.D. and I continue to play at running a small business. I think the thing both of us will remember personally from this past year is the way the Lord has worked in each of our hearts individually and as a couple. There is much to come in our lives over the next year--we are excited to share our journey with each of you.

Merry Christmas to each of you--thank you for being a part of our story as we seek to find our place in His.

Love,

From 70 to 7

When we left South Carolina, the temps were in the 70's! The farther north we traveled the colder it got! When we were driving on Sunday, we passed a digital sign telling us it was 7 degrees! Brrrr! We are staying warm and the girls are enjoying the unbelievable amount of snow!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mom's Christmas Letter

We leave tomorrow morning for snowy Michigan! I'm sure I'll post from there, but, until then...all moms will appreciate this!


“Dear Santa,
I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited thier doctor’s office more than my own doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out — over several Christmases.

Since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles; and who knows when I’ll find any more free time in the next 18 years, so now - -

*** Here are my Christmas wishes ***

* I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (-in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

* I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

* If you’re hauling big-ticket items this year, I’d like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

* On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, ‘Yes, Mommy’ to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

* I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, ‘Don’t eat in the living room’ and ‘Take your hands off your brother,’ because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

* If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

*If you don’t mind, I could also use a few miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

*It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing, and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his red crayon back. Have a safe trip Santa, and remember to leave your wet boots by the door, and come in and dry off, so you don’t catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.
Yours always with love and appreciation,

Mom

P.S. One more thing . . You can cancel all my requests, if you can keep my children ‘young’ enough to believe in Santa.”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

a very merry playgroup christmas

A few years ago four new mommas got together for a play date. We'd met in a parenting class--some of us knew each other; others of us didn't. Our kids babbled at each other at first while sitting on our laps as we babbled at each other--thankful to just have an adult conversation once a week!

It's been fun watching those babies go from backs to tummies, from tummies to knees, from knees to feet...now they're independent enough to play in another room and us moms can carry on a conversation without having to speak over their (not so) tiny voices!

Though their busy preschool schedules don't allow us to gather on a regular basis anymore, we manage to get together a few times a year. We celebrated Christmas this week at Gatti Town (On a side note, this is a perfect spot for a holiday get together involving little ones. No one has to cook, clean up, or entertain!)! As we've done for the past few years, we exchanged holiday books--they're almost as fun to pick out as they are to receive!

Rachel, Ben, Ansley, & Drew--Holly, Amber, & Kim--thanks for the years of memories--here's to many, many more! For the rest of you out there, please don't make fun of our kids when we're still getting together for playgroup when they're 15!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend Fun

On Saturday morning Amber and I had a holiday show, so it was a daddy/daughter morning:

SO silly!
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On Saturday night we loaded the kids in the car clad in jammies to repeat one of our favorite traditions--"Christmas light looking"--as Ella Grace puts it. We snacked on hot chocolate and popcorn (thanks, Great Grandma!) and drove through Roper Mountain's light display!

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On Sunday night, thanks to some pre-made mixes we got as gifts (thanks, Miss Beth and FK staff!), we enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies!!
Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fun With Our Small Group Buds

At the Teddy Bear Luncheon with (L to R) Haleigh, Jack, Abby, Annabelle, Ella Grace & Sophie

On the carousel at Gatti Town

Watching the big kids on the bumper cars

Chloe, Olivia & Christian


My Girls!


Group Hug

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Craft


I mentioned our craft in my last post and apologize to those who've been anxiously waiting (kidding!). We made these reindeer--I know that there are probably lots of materials we could have used--but since our goal that day was to be at home, we used things we had at home (how "green" is that?). We used formula cans painted with brown paint, buttons, scrap fabric and construction paper...and, I think our end result turned out pretty cute!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Today

We're recovering from the dreaded stomach bug at our house! Both "big girls" have had it, but are feeling great today!

In spite of the desperate need for a trip to the grocery store, we spent the morning at home...everything was going so well, and, I'll be honest, a trip to the grocery store can change everyone's mood! I love days like this that we can be home uninterrupted--these days are few and far between at our house, so when they come, I treasure them! The girls played beautifully together by building with every kind of block we have--K'nex, Legos, Lincoln Logs, & Bristle Blocks--a city populated with Little People and plastic animals and completed with train tracks! This picture captures the essense of our day thus far...note the fire in the fireplace--and, if you could hear the picture, you'd hear Christmas music playing in the background!

We're also working on a Christmas-y craft--the paint is still drying, but I'll post pictures later!

There is, of course, still the issue of the grocery store. I'm thinking no one will complain about grits and eggs for dinner tonight!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Weekend!

Since my sister, brother and I will be with our respective in-laws on Christmas Day, we celebrated with each other and my mom and dad on Friday! The kids had a blast opening presents and being together! These are pictures from our weekend together:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

As we've talked over the past month, here are the things the girls have been thankful for:

Ella Grace:
  • the sunrise and the sunset
  • our country
  • the blue sky
  • her Papa
  • rainbows
  • food
  • Mommy
  • missionaries
  • animals
  • fun places to go
  • school
  • Katie
  • our house
  • Daddy
  • Annabelle

Annabelle:

  • Daddy
  • her cousins
  • white milk
  • and chocolate milk
  • a warm bed
  • Mommy
  • Ms. Kris and Mr. David (her Sunday school teachers)
  • her friends at church
  • Katie
  • Ella Grace
  • our family

Happy Thanksgiving~have a blessed "holiday season"!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Catching Up-date!

Well, the Holidays are upon us in full swing~~we've been busy around here! Here's what's been happening!
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Katie went through 3 rounds of antibiotics trying to get rid of her first ear infection! We're now on round 4 which is a series of three shots given for three consecutive days. She's been a trooper and we're praying this gets rid of the infection for good!As a result of the ear infections, Katie has become a bottle fed baby--twice a day she nurses and twice a day she gets a bottle; here's Annabelle "helping".
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Annabelle got "disciplined" the other day and as Eric was talking to her afterwards he said, "You know, it hurts Daddy's heart to have to do that?" She came back with: "I know, it hurts my legs and bootie too!"
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Ella Grace had her Thanksgiving celebration at school yesterday! She and her friends dressed as Native Americans! She had a blast!
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I was getting ready to get the girls in the tub last night and they were discussing the order I should bathe them:

Ella Grace: Well, I'm the oldest. And, Annabelle, you're the middle-est.


Annabelle: And Katie's the katie-est!
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Katie has her first tooth! See it?
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Eric's sister and her family stopped by for a visit last weekend--which meant we got to meet our newest niece--Hailey! Here are "the cousins"!
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Not sure how to wrap all that up...I'll leave you with Katie's newfound talent--be sure to listen to the dialogue in the background!
video

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog Rhyming

Ella Grace came down the stairs yesterday to announce:

"Log and blog rhyme!"

Yup, they do!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Biblical Emergency


Ella Grace on the way to church this morning:

"'In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.' Mom, is it Genesis 9-1-1?"

Friday, November 7, 2008

One of Those Moms!

Okay, I'm ready to admit it! Here--for all my friends, family, and other random people who may visit to see. I'm one of those moms. You know the ones--I've become the one I used to think I'd never be.I have three girls.
I dress them alike often, and...a-hem...here goes...I kind of like it!
Not that I need to defend myself to you, my dear reader, (it's actually kind of therapeutic as I "admit I have a problem") but here are

The 5 reasons I like dressing my cuties alike:

1. It's a little cute--c'mon, admit it (you'll feel better!)!

2. It's easy--when I'm shopping, I only have to find one thing I like instead of three (I should add, "and they like"! When did they get an opinion anyway?). And in the mornings, I only have to match one outfit instead of three!

3. It's safer--when we're out in public and I have two moseying along behind, I only have to turn around and look for one color!

4. It's peace promoting--I don't have to hear, "But she had the pink one last time, and Ireallyreallyreallywantedthepinkonethistime becausepinkisMYfavoritecolor!!! Well, at least I don't have to hear it about clothing--plates, silverware, and cups--a different story!

5. It's cheaper--sale times three!

There!

Thanks for listening! Step one is checked off my list!

We'll save step two until the time comes when they don't think it's cool to be dressed like their sisters!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Made it 8 and a Half Months...

...but she has her first ear infection--or should I say infections--she's got one in each ear!

Poor babe!

The doctor said it was pretty amazing that with two big sisters, she's made it this long!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Truths on Election Day 2008

I just returned from exercising my right as an American to cast a vote! Ella Grace learned all about the election process yesterday at preschool, so she tagged along. As I held her, so she could see what I was doing, I was reminded of some Truths that have been on my mind for the past several weeks:

~God is still God! Whether there is a woman or an African American in the White House.

~God is still God! His love for me doesn't depend on how I voted.

~God is still God! He allowed me to be born in the greatest country in the world.

~God is still God! In His sovereignty, He placed my children in this time in history.

~God is still God! The battle He's engaged in is for my entire heart.

"...His eyes keep watch on the nations..." Ps. 66:7

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Katie's Laugh


There are some things I don't want to forget about this stage in Katie's life:


~The way her cheek feels beneath my lips

~The weight of her head against my chest

~The smile that greets me when I walk in her room

~The delight she gets from splashing in the bathtub

~Her tiny hands signing dramatically "more!"

~The obvious way she adores her sisters

~The sweet sound of her uncontrolled laughter...



video

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ella Grace's Special Day


Yesterday Ella Grace's Aunt Lissa got to be the teacher in her preschool class. Ella Grace also got picked to be the "leader of the day." When she got home from school, she couldn't wait to tell me about these unexpected events:

EG: Mom, (in a super-excited, it's me, it's me kind of voice) guess who was the leader of the day!??
Me: Hmmmm. Let's see, was it a boy or a girl?
EG: (very dramatically) Let me give you a hint: it's someone that is here right now!

Then several times (at least 15!) throughout the day yesterday:

EG: Mom, wasn't today a special day for me? Aunt Lissa got to be my teacher, AND I got to be the leader!

Thanks, Liss, for making Ella Grace's Monday special--for that matter--thanks for making all of Ella Grace's days special just by being who you are!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Our Hilarious Girl


Annabelle: I want more juice!
Eric: What?
Annabelle: I want more juice!
Eric: What? (he's not having trouble hearing, he's trying to get her to ask the "right way")
Annabelle: I want more juice!
Eric: Well, could you ask in a different way?
Annabelle: (in a high pitched tone) I want more juice!

...and the next day:

The girls were eating their lunches with toothpicks and Annabelle stuck her's into a rice cake.
Annabelle: Look, Momma!
Me: Oh, Annabelle, that is so funny!
Annabelle: No, actually it's hilarious!

Silly, Annabelle, it's you that is hilarious! Thanks for keeping us on our toes, sweet girl!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Girls x's 3

Three Jeaned Booties

plus...Three Croc-ed Feet


plus...Three Bowed Heads
equals...Three Spartans' Fans