Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vacation fun!





Hannah takes after her old ma and pa when she makes a tent out of half a dozen blankets. I did that when I was little and so, apparently, did John. And the hat pic? Well, that's ALL Hannah! ha!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New member of the family

I have a new appendage. My belly has declared its freedom. It is now, as the Brits say, “on holiday.” It has its own Independence Day. For 35 years, I have had the usual amount of limbs and have carried on quite successfully. Those days are passed. Pfffftt! Gone!

Now, I’ve never been the proud possessor of a six-pack. Never wanted it badly enough. Even in my trimmest days, my abs were, at best, a four- or five-pack. Alas, the stomach muscles have now congealed into one great lump and, as previously mentioned, are one entity. Think the UNIBROW, only the stomach version. The uni-ab. Any exercises I have done for the past few months or, years, have amounted to simply consolidating all that flab.

But the other night, while helping my fourth grader with her homework, I decided she was in dire need of a break. “Let’s get those wiggles out,” I exclaimed. We stretched and loosened, wiggled and giggled. I really got into it, man! Feeling great, I shouted, “Jumping jacks!” I bounced. My stomach bounced, about half a beat slower than the rest of me. And when I stopped, various parts of me kept moving. Whoa! “Stop, stop!” I cried to that rebellious flopping appendage.

Like the political candidate, Sarah Palin, my belly that has Gone Rogue.

Christmas decorations



The first picture shows Hannah with her markerboard--she was home sick from school a couple of weeks ago, had a fever and a sore throat. She spent most of the day speechless (gasp!), a difficult thing for her! ha! But she had her handy-dandy marker board upon which she could scribble her thoughts, ramblings and requests. I think John grew a little weary of the constant "squeaky, squeaky" sound of marker on board. But it wasn't TOO bad!

I thought I'd show a couple of pictures of decorations, with my ever-ready model, Hannah. Every year, I say I am "just not going to decorate much, really, I'm not!!" But then I can't help myself. I know Hannah enjoys the pretty colors and all the Christmas glitter and glow. We even hung up some pink lights in her room this year, plus some out on the balcony.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December Doings...



We enjoyed the Christmas program at Hannah's school a week-and-a-half ago, and these are pictures of me fixing her hair for the evening. The children wore their Burton shirts and pants for the performance, which made it less formal. Sometimes I miss more formal performances, with dresses and such, but I don't miss having one more thing (a choir outfit) to have to buy for it! She was excited for me to fix her hair--I placed two small ponytails on either side of her head.

It is absolutely the BEST watching Hannah sing, especially for a school program. She puts her all into each song, making sure to do each hand movement or bow or facial expression just right. Her eyes never leave the music teacher's form--she's very earnest about it all! She's just cute as a bug, if I do say so myself! ha!

Tonight we spent some time cleaning up her room, going through toys to see which ones she might give away (to make room for new Christmas gifts). At first she didn't want to do it, but didn't put up much of an argument (she knows that wouldn't help anyway). Besides, if I'm in the mood at ALL for that sort of thing, I kind of have to go with it and do it right then when the moment strikes--which doesn't happen very often! We made some good progress and I now have a bunch of items I can donate to Arlington mission after-school program, where I volunteer on Thursday afternoons.

I felt a little nostalgic regarding some of the items Hannah was willing to donate: she doesn't play with her baby dolls anymore, nor some of her princess toys, some of which we bought years ago. I keep a few items for sentimental reasons, but I know there are children out there who could be playing with this stuff now! Still, looking at these baby dolls... (sigh) I can't believe she's getting so big (sniff sniff). She still loves her stuffed animals and any dog-related toys, at least.

All for now,
Tricia

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Christmas Luau

So I come into the living room the other day and had to laugh--there's Hannah with a summer shirt on, a lei and a flower in her hair. What a bright spot she is in my day! And of course, she had to dress Jacky the guinea pig up in the same flower and lei. Lookin' good, piggie! ha!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

That's Not Fair!



"That's not fair!" How many of us have heard someone, especially a kid, utter this phrase? (For that matter, how many adults have said it?!)

I knew from fairly early on that I only wanted one child, for a variety of reasons. John and I both agreed on this. It's worked out well for us. But most folks I know have two or more. And they deal with the "it's not fair" complaint (especially regarding sibling rivalry) on a regular basis.

We've all seen it: Child Number One receives a goody (or toys, prizes, etc.) and Child Number Two receives his own as well. Child Number One squawks because the second is given one more, or he has a different color, or the toy is bigger, and so on. Eventually mothers and fathers, to save the peace, are v-e-r-y careful in doling out the goodies. They KNOW that the children will bicker if not given treats of equal value.

How often are we adults like that? When I see Mr. So-and-so with a fancy new car, or she's oh-so-slim and I'm not? What happens when we aren't content with what God gave us? Yes, that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head, and suddenly the toy in our hand doesn't look half as good as our friend's. We compare and compare from personalities to cars to houses to spouses until it makes us sick. And we say, not so politely to God, "It's not fair!"

We especially do that with the bigger issues in life. Look at that person, he had a great childhood, why didn't I? Or: Why can't I get my finances in order, why didn't God give me more money? "Why didn't God give me ____?" we squawk. "It's not fair," we cry.

The thing is, we don't realize how much He has given us--which may be different for one person than another at any given time:

*** a lovely sunset
*** wildflowers that paint a meadow
*** clean drinking water
*** good health
*** caring friends
*** a loyal, fun-loving pet
*** snow-topped mountain peaks
*** the laughter of your own child
*** every breath we take

Maybe today, you and I will lift our voices and say to our loving God, "It's MORE than fair!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Missouri" loves company... in the form of a cousin!


My cousin drove down from Missouri last weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday and I was so excited. We hadn't seen each other since I was about 7 years old! Whew!

They were staying with her eldest daughter, recently married, and so we all had a lovely visit on Saturday evening. I'd always had a suspicion she was a terrific lady, kind nurse, loving wife and mother--and that evening just confirmed it. We had to "get to know each other all over again," since we were quite young the previous reunions. Where do the years go? I mean, you look up and wow!: another decade has passed.

John and Jeff hit it off too. They kind of reminded me of each other a little bit. Each, a solid, loving Christian, devoted fathers and husbands. I felt a tremendous blessing to be in such company as these people.

Even though life is indeed busy, I'm hoping we can keep up a few times a year via phone or email messages. We really hit it off and there was definitely a "tender-hearted girls" bond there! ha! Even Hannah and Jadon had a blast playing together. What fun! I felt bad we didn't leave until kinda late, I didn't realize how much time had passed, so we skeedaddled on out of there and headed home. All of us Williams were in a happy, chatty mood!

|||||

Tomorrow evening Hannah's school will be presenting their Christmas program at the Arlington church. I'm looking forward to that for sure! Hannah's hummed a few of the tunes they'll be singing, so I know the audience is in for a musical treat!

Well, gotta get some rest. Love to all and more posts soon.

TW

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stitched old-fashioned dress


Although already included in my blog banner, here's a stitched card I created of an old-timey dress. I didn't even realize until after I finished it that it looks a little hoochie-coochie (trust Hubby to point that out! ha!), especially with the black, silver and red color combination. But I still say it turned out pretty good and I stand by it! ha! The silver threading is especially pretty in person!

Pattern credit for this card goes to D J Designs (2008), located in the UK.

Fun times with my Sister!


We had such a great time with my sister during her visit a couple of weeks ago. We got to do all sorts of fun things, like the Omni theater in Fort Worth, and more. We also had a "Game Night," on Wednesday night and even got mom to play Skip-Bo with us, which was a DELIGHT. I have very happy memories of Daddy, Pam and I playing games and mom playing the piano in the background when I was little.

But, if we were very lucky, mom would concede to playing one game. And we'd all dance around (well, maybe not daddy! ha!), very happy that mom was going to be a part of it all. Then mom, after thoroughly TROUNCING us, would promptly say she was finished and leave us all with mouths open of how the lady just easily won the game, hands down! Maybe that was her EVIL PLAN all along?? ha!


Anyway, so grateful for the time spent with my sis and parents. Sweet times indeed!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stitched antique car card

Here's the birthday card I stitched for my dad for his 70th birthday. He's definitely into cars and I thought he'd enjoy this card. It's actually similar to the Model A (or T?) that my grandparents used to drive to California for their honeymoon in 1929.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Williams weekend fun


Here's another picture of my dad and me. I think we look just a little like father and daughter! ha!

Well goodness, it's been too long since I wrote about our comings and goings. We've pretty much just been doing the usual stuff: work, school, church, etc. Hannah's had some fun weekends lately, though. Last weekend we spent some time with Nana and Grandfather and then on Sunday, she and several other friends got together for a Build-a-Bear party. Basically they just played with their stuffed animals and ate pizza and cake, I think.


Then today, a good friend of hers, Adam, had his tenth birthday party at the church (in the church basement) and they watched one of my old favorites, Snowball Express. What fun! Adam's mom, Maria, made the coolest cake: it was a couple of old reel-to-reel circle cakes, with another cake section on top of one "reel," that looked exactly like popcorn coming out of a bag. My, what talent! and so tasty too!

I'm glad Hannah's had some extra special fun times lately, because her schoolwork/homework has taken a lot of her time in the evenings. I guess it's mostly her not understanding some of the work and taking longer to do than normal to finish it--plus she has to talk about a lot of things in life, so that talking makes things go a little slower! ha!

John and I have been enjoying some evening walks every few nights, in the crisp, fall air. We really like to walk and talk together and just don't get to do it enough, it seems like.

Found out my sister's coming to visit, so hopefully I'll have some fun pix and stories to tell in the next couple of weeks!

Okay, well guess that's it for now. After this week, I guess we'll be getting ready for the holidays in the next few weeks. May not do a lot of gifts this year, but I know we'll try to make sure Hannah has a terrific time, and as always, just enjoy our time all together!

All for now,
Tricia

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Sparkle girl


Well, I've GOT to write an update on our family "doins" but it's pretty late, so I'll just post a pretty picture for now. Love everybody! Oh, and this photo was taken at Veteran's Park near the fish pond. The sun was shining through the trees and "dappled" light hit her face, making her sparkle all the more than she usually does! That's my sparkle girl! :) More updates to follow! All for now, Tricia

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun times with my dad

Here's a fun collage I created of my dad and me, of our "date" in September.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Autumn in Texas


The last few weeks have been full of fall events, from the Texas State Fair to Hannah's school fair. Daddy went with the fourth grade class; he said they walked ALL over the fair, even though it was raining outside. Let's just say Hannah slept well that night (Daddy did too!) ha! Daddy won a prize for Hannah, a HUGE stuffed dog.

The fall fair at school is a fundraiser and, surprisingly, was considered a school day, even though it was held on a Sunday. I think that might be because of so many of the kids were sick at the beginning of the semester. Anyway, Hannah had a great time and she was able to play lots of games as well as help her teacher at the fourth grade booth.

Anyway, we've kept busy with the usual busyness of life, homework, church, I Love Lucy shows from the library (Hannah's favorite), etc. I love to hear Hannah's belly laughs when she watches Lucy's antics after school.

Guess that's all for now.

TW

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Silly girl

Don't have much to say, so I thought I'd let this photo say it all! A retro Hannah picture, circa 2005. I'll try to post more soon, have been neglecting my blog...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random pix and random thoughts


Things I learned, or realized anew, today:

To listen to my instincts, even when others are telling me their way is the only way. I must listen to my heart. Cliche, but true.

***

How much fun it is to talk to my child on the phone. It's different than talking in person. Not a lot. But I sometimes I can better tell how much she's maturing when we talk on the phone. I listen more closely to what she's saying, and how she's saying it.

***

That even when I don't get a good night's sleep, sometimes I have a better day if I put on some pretty clothes and go out on the town, than if I stay in shorts and a t-shirt and stay home.

***

That I can talk to my best girlfriend on the phone for one hour and it feels like it's only 5 minutes. Never having been a phone person, that's pretty cool and a tribute to our friendship.

***

That I can enjoy other people's talents showcased on their blogs without feeling that I am "less than" simply because I can't draw, sew, play the guitar, etc... There's always going to be someone out there more talented, more creative, more something than me: and at 35, that's finally OK with me.

***

That every day my husband is out of town on business (a rare occurrence), I can sing a version of the song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," until he comes home again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Love Letters

Every now and then, I write love notes. To John, to Hannah, to my family and friends. And every now and then, they write me back.

When Hannah first got her Bible and a couple of times since, I've slipped a couple of love notes inside so she would find them. To my delight, Hannah reciprocated.

However, because I read about three different Bibles at any given time, I had no idea about the love notes awaiting me in my Women's devotional one. I still have no idea how long they were there, just waiting to be read; she never mentioned them. All I know is that I wish I'd read it sooner, so I could have seen these precious letters.

I wonder how often I've miss out on God's love letter, simply because I don't open His Word. I wonder if I've missed out on His loving words of encouragement, mercy and forgiveness simply because I never checked.

Notice Hannah's note on the left especially. The original is on 8.5 X 11 paper. It's hard to miss. Look at all those exclamation marks (with MY own calligraphy pen, no less! ha!). This letter NEVER fails to bring a smile to my face.

Most people have a "life verse." I never go on and on about mine, but I do have one. It's found in Jeremiah 31:3:

"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'"

Wow. Could He be any more plain spoken? Did you feel the exclamation marks in your heart? Feel them. Know them. He's ready to tell you in person today, just how much He loves you. I pray it will bring a smile to your face--and heart--today.

All for now,
Tricia

A spontaneous date with my dad

This past weekend, I really wanted to be out in nature. Sometimes the city just feels claustrophobic to me and I like to get away.

Anyway, I invited my daddy to go on an excursion to a lake with me. We just drove and drove until we got tired of driving; then a lady we met told us about a park where you could get a nice view of Lake Whitney. It was awesome! After we walked along the rocky shoreline, we sat at a picnic table, talked, took goofy pictures of each other and generally had a fun time. I'll try to post more of the pix later, but here's a pretty shot of the lake for now.

All for now,
Tricia

Sunday, September 20, 2009

John and Hannah equals FUN!

These pictures are so much fun! Since my computer is in the shop for mild repairs (at least I'm hoping), I've been using our older computer, which has older photos on the hard drive. I also didn't have many of my digital collage fun stuff or embellishments, but I thought this collage turned out pretty well.

These "retro" pix were taken in Kentucky. Hannah had banged up her chin while visiting auntie Pam and family in Florida, thus the "look-at-me bandage." Aunt Pam fixed Hannah's boo-boo up so well, in fact, that the girlie didn't need stitches! Thank you dear sister!

I wasn't a part of this "photo session," but it looks to me like John and Hannah took turns taking pictures of each other while playing in the backyard. The end results are a lot of fun. I especially like the closeup of John. He looks handsome, fun-loving and full of life, just like always.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Feeling all house-wifey...

For some reason, lately I've been Becky Home-ecky (hmm, never spelled that out before). I mean, I like to do *some* domestic things, but in the past two or three weeks, I've cleaned, iron and cooked more than I have in--ahem--let's just say quite some time. What is the reason for all this domestic bliss?

Not sure, exactly, but here are a few theories:

Like a lot of women, I don't know the meaning of "take it slow" and can't stand to just "do nothing;"

Due to the flu and pneumonia a couple of weeks back, I'm doing homey type chores because I can't do all the running around outside the home that I REALLY want to do;

Then there are the practical reasons, such as the fact that I was wearing the same shirt or two over and over when there are at least a few more perfectly fine but WRINKLED shirts hanging in my closet. Laziness, pure laziness. But desire for variety won over slobbishness and I now wear a healthy variety of color and style ("thank goodness," hubby John breathed silently!) ha!;

I watched my daughter eat practically the same supper, Veggie Burger Griller and vegetables and my mother's heart strings were touched; this child needs some different FOOD! Again, laziness, pure and simple;

The (hard) floors were so incredibly dirty (true confession time here), I just couldn't stand them any longer. You know you have dirty floors when you dread for the apartment maintenance manager (whose clothes ooze with grease!) to come by to fix the dripping faucet! Pretty bad! (For some reason, the carpet gets cleaned way more. Go figure.);

And last but not least: Hannah is in school! It's just so much easier to get things done around the house when you're sans child!

That being said, if we receive any visitors, say two weeks from now, or two MONTHS from now, please do NOT, I repeat, do NOT expect us to be clean, well-fed, or well-clothed. This state is, by all accounts, an anomaly, a freak of nature. This is JUST a phase.

For now, we will eat (terrific lasagna), drink, and be merry (or clean!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting a routine...

Just a quick note to say I'm feeling much better. I won't write much, as I am on our old computer, and the keys "stick" sometimes, so it can look like I don't speel worth a hoot. (Yes, I misspelled that on purpose for fun...) lol

Spending lots of quality time with Hannah (and fourth grade homework) these days. Fun, fun! I often sit down with her, especially with math, and go v-e-r-y slowly, if need be. I often felt like I could do harder math problems if I could only go at my own pace. So I'm trying to help Hannah girl as much as possible.

She's so funny when she does homework: she has to talk through just about every single homework problem she comes home with. Not only does she talk all day long, about everything and anything, but if she's not talking, she hums, sings, makes funny noises with her mouth (some quite annoying). I've told her to go ahead and make the noises if it helps her to think, but she can't tell personal stories while she's working on the schoolwork.

I mean, that child can STALL for time like no other, and one way she does this is if her schoolwork mentions a bear, or a car, or a village, or Africa, she has something to say or ask on every subject! Someday this will take her far, I imagine! ha! I can see her in a career where she gets PAID to talk. But for today, I say to myself, just get your homework done, Baby! And now, she even catches herself when starting to launch into some great tale; she takes a deep breath, giggles and says, "Ooh, almost told a personal story there! But I caught myself!"

I think most of the illness has passed at school and things have settled down into a routine. Then again, I probably shouldn't type that. Seems like life can sure throw you a curveball when you think you've got a good rhythm going, right? ha!


I don't have many pix on this computer, so I can't post a pic today. I'll try to make it up and post two another day, how about that!

Okay, well, I'll leave you with this quote, from the Barbara Walters' book, Audition, which I'm currently reading (the book's actually pretty good, but I read the Tim Russert book before that, and it was amazing):

When asked if she ever felt anger or bitterness toward her husband's (President Johnson) detractors, Lady Bird Johnson replied in this interview with Barbara W., "I am too close to the great departure from life to harbor anger."

That quote just stuck with me, and thought I'd share.

All for now,
Tricia

Monday, September 7, 2009

Autumn: Almost here!

I'm so excited that fall is almost here!

Ah, autumn: the crisp, need-my-sweater weather; hand-carved pumpkins; apple cinnamon candles; soup, laden with vegetables, simmering on the stove; cozy, cuddle-filled nights with that extra blanket on top; walking atop "crunchies" (acorns) near big and small oaks alike; and the put-another-log-in-the-fireplace feeling. It's almost here!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hannah and fourth grade


Here's a go at some "creative" writing, and a stab at humor regarding our last couple of weeks:

"See Hannah start fourth grade. See how Hannah enjoys fourth grade. See Hannah and many classmates (8 out of 24) get sick in the SECOND WEEK of the school year. See parents turn to each other and say, "Oh my. It's like having Dick and Jane and Hannah back at home for the summer!"
Teacher makes sure there isn't too much homework at night so the children do not get too far behind. See parents be grateful."

I'll be posting more of life's happenings before too long. Just wanted to post a little something new for those who are tired of seeing the same old stuff on my blog (like myself).

On a quick health note: I saw a doctor today and she said I seem to be doing better, that the rather violent coughing (my terminology) is normal to get all the stuff out of my lungs. I asked if I should be concerned about Hannah's lingering cough and she said no, not if Hannah's breathing patterns and temps are normal. That's good; I'll keep an eye on her still, of course, Mama Bear that I am.

TW

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I married a goofy, goofy man

That's my sweetie! Love the hair--that tousled, just-woke-up bedhead. And he never looked more handsome to me.

Some thoughts on learning, growing, loving and giving


This weekend I have...

* Sat with my best girl friend in church and realized I never get tired of saying she's my best friend--or that I met and made my first BFF at age 33
~
* Listened to my daughter practice her "impressions" of animals and felt like I'd burst with pride
~
* Scanned in photos of my parents' wedding and thought two things in amazement: 1) without J and N Schnell, I wouldn't be here on this planet and 2) how about those 60s hairdos, buzz cuts and awesome cars?! They were STYLIN', man!
~
* Braced myself for the fact that my little bundle of joy is starting fourth grade tomorrow--while knowing that *I* haven't aged a bit! ha ha!
~
* Realized anew how much I can't stand the clutter that piles up in my house, thus I gave away a perfectly good piece of furniture (a craft desk I picked up free myself) and was thrilled with the extra space we gained in the living room.
~
* Called the principal of Hannah school at his home and prayed for God's blessings on him, for God to guide him this year for the kids--promptly making him cry and hastily hurry off the phone...
~
* Cleaned the inside of the car; we had no Armorall in the house, but an all-purpose "green" cleaner worked just fine. Did this as a nice surprise for Hannah for her first day of school, as she loves a clean car (but not a clean room?? Go figure...)


In the past few weeks, I have...

* Reconnected with a second cousin and was delighted to hear stories about me from when I was a little girl
~

* Made breakfast in bed for my hubby, for no particular reason other than to see his morning smile and because our girlie was spending the night at a friend's.
~
* Had to deal with some not-so-fun neck and shoulder pain, caused mostly by misalignment and stress, but found a new chiropractor that is helping me a lot--and taught me exercises that (surprisingly) have helped tremendously!
~
* Realized God has answered my prayers many times over, including desiring more girl friends in my life, better emotional health, for our paychecks to stretch a little longer, and so much more.
~
* Spent time with and fallen in love all over again with the funniest, smartest, talking-est, prettiest, silliest, growing-est, happiest, giving-est, special-est nine-year-old on the planet.
~
* Learned I have a long way to go to out-give, out-love, and out-prank my two summer companions, John and Hannah.
~
* Watched sunsets, played games, hated evil, loved marriage, eaten ice cream... and...
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* organized closets, re-arranged furniture, redecorated, created art, stayed up too late, gotten up too early
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* Wished I was like someone else (ANYone else), been GLAD I'm me,
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* Realized I think about the deep things in life WAY too much
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* Learned how to lighten up (or at least have tried to!)
~
AND Last but not least

* Felt impressed to change my direction and purpose in life, from working as a copy editor and proofreader to something so much bigger than myself, something I'd have never have chosen on my own if God didn't shine His own spotlight on it (more info and details to come).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

hannah


I think I could just "melt" into these eyes.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

John and Tricia 4-ever

I'll love you eternally, John.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Why is there pain and suffering?

"Sin and pain seem to prevail. Babies die of cancer. Puppies are hit on the road. Hitler rises to power. We yell at our children. The power of suffering is that great. So what, in the end, does the cross really mean? What good is an escape route, really, if it does not open until the end of time? I think that the answer, in part, is that the cross never promises to free us from pain and suffering, not at least in the present. The cross, in fact, promises just the opposite: the certainty of pain and suffering.

Here is the mystery: The path of joy runs straight through the heart of pain and suffering. Christianity, alone among the world's religions, does not run from pain but embraces it, and then and only then does it move through it. Jesus Christ is our example of faith: 'For the joy set before him enduring the cross, scorning it shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God' (Hebrews 12:2)...

Faith carries with it movement--from what we know to what we long for, from suffering to joy, from earth to heaven."

I found this devotional (written by a Deforia Lane) in my Women's Devotional Bible (NIV)

I thought this was beautiful and wanted to share. I myself don't understand pain and suffering, but maybe I don't have to. Maybe I just need to know the One who will, someday, annihilate pain forever. Amen!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Celebrating my niece's birthday...

Happy Birthday to my sweet niece, Chloe G.! Sending you love... Aunt Tricia

Monday, July 13, 2009

More than enough

I walk at the park a lot. Sometimes I just sit there and read and pray.

While I was there, a mom and her daughter, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Hannah lookalike, parked and wondered down to the lake's edge. The mom was lovely, even in her "grubbies," and I have to admit a twinge of envy at how slender she was, how perfect her ponytail was, how so "put together" she seemed.

I half-read my book, half-watched the duo, amused to hear the young girl talking a mile-a-minute like Hannah does with me.

Eventually they threw some food out to the ducks. Now, these ducks and goose (I call her Mama Goose) obviously have taken and complete their "Be Assertive Today" course--they are *not* shy about getting real close and cozy. Too close for Hannah's comfort, that's for sure.

Anyway, the girl eventually gave a mild shriek and ran back to their vehicle. With my windows down, I heard her clearly begging her mom to unlock the car. She may be a drama queen, but I detected a true note of fear in her voice. But the mom, this woman who I thought was oh-so-pretty, replied harshly, "Oh come on! You're stressing me out; this is supposed to be a nice walk, and you're making it stressful for me. Now just STOP!"

I know, I know; I've had moments like that, too many to name, when I speak sharply to Hannah. But I have always tried to listen for the times when she really is scared. And maybe this little girl was just vying for attention and being melodramatic, but maybe not. All of a sudden, I didn't care to be like that lady. I didn't care to turn a deaf ear to my child's pleas. I realized I just want to be me, the me who listens to my girlie; the me who cares if Hannah's frightened. All of a sudden: just being ME was enough. Plus-size, curvy, giving, loving, don't-you-dare-hurt-my daughter me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stitched card and swimming

Here's a card I stitched for a friend, to thank her for her hospitality and all the good food she provided.

I took Hannah swimming today and we had a great time--we swam for over two hours! Great exercise, that's for sure. Hannah's not gotten to swim as much because John usually takes her and with his kidney stone, he just doesn't feel up to it, of course!

It was nice to get to know a couple of our neighbors better while swimming in the pool. In an apartment complex, there's so much "turnover" of tenants, it's hard to get very well acquainted with any of them, or meet many who even care to get acquainted. So that was nice.

I've been reading a mystery series that is really good--the author's name is Aaron Elkins. His character is called Gideon Oliver and is called the Skeleton Detective. I like the books because they're not too scary, not bad language, well written and I love how the detective solves the whodunit by simply looking at the bones and using his knowledge as a forensic paleontologist. I don't like it that the books are all filled with evolutionary stuff (Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal Age, etc.), because I am a creationist all the way. But they are still very well written and a lot of fun; the author obviously has a great sense of humor, too!

Anyway, all for now!

Tricia

Monday, July 6, 2009

Trials and Triumphs for the Williams family

Last Friday brought about yet another round of "say it isn't so!" for our little family. Poor John developed a kidney stone yet again. And when this guy has one, they aren't just "stones passing in the night" (sorry, poor pun); John goes through days of extreme pain while the doctors/technicians haggle over whether the stone is large enough for a lithotripsy, surgery, what-have-you. Why they don't ask the one suffering? I say! This is John's fifth or sixth stone--and when I see the pain on his face, I feel so bad for him.

The last few weeks and months have been particularly trying for our household. It has not been necessarily "one thing." Just an accumulation of trials that have brought us to our knees. I thought I was holding it pretty well together (with God's help), and even doing a fair job of hiding the stress.

Apparently not.

The night we came home from the ER, we were absolutely beaten down. I tried to keep up a semi-brave face for my girlie, but realize the day's events must have been written all over my--and John's--faces.

When I went into Hannah's room for love, worship and bedtime prayers, I could tell something was wrong. Fearing I'd somehow been short with her because of my exhaustion, I asked her what was wrong. At first she denied anything, but then, as I knelt down, she finally answered:

"I just feel so bad for you and Daddy," she said. Two big tears fell down her cheeks. "You guys have had the worst luck lately. Why do bad things keep happening to us? I feel like we're so alone in our problems."

My sentiments exactly. I have to admit, I'd been asking God the same thing. Oh, I don't talk about our struggles much on this blog. No matter how a person spins it, when writing about troubles in life, invariably it sounds like whining or complaining. So I haven't. Up till now.

Finances, poor health, unskilled veterinarians, breaking down cars--all spell disaster. Who wants to read about disaster? I don't!

But maybe I need to share at least a little about the troubles. Because if I share about them, I must share about the strength God gives us, the endurance, to get through each day. If I share about the financial woes, I must also give testimony to just-as-we-need-them provisions.

The same goes for health, car trouble and more. For each time something goes wrong, Someone makes sure to make something very right. An unexpected check in the mail...a better veterinarian with a less costly guinea piggy diagnosis...a mechanic who has our best interest at heart and gives rides home again and again when we face the prospect of extreme heat beating us down on a long walk home.

Problems? Oh me, oh my! More than I care to admit. But for every problem, God has given us a solution. For every time our bank account is running precariously low, God has sent food, money, or work--just when we need them most.

So how did I answer my precious lamb?

Thinking of the ever-possible teachable moments (only by His help), I told her that the Devil is very real. He doesn't like it when we are following after God, when we are trying to obey His will. We read from her Bible that Satan is depicted in the book of Peter as a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8, 9). The text goes on to say, "Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings..."

In comforting Hannah, I could not deny the comfort my heavenly Father provides me, day in, day out. Through His Bible, through a friend, or a sermon, He reveals His truth of "I will never leave you nor forsake you" again and again.

I praise Him. I love Him. I share my testimony in love.

Tricia

p.s. John goes to his urologist Wednesday. If the doctor does not reach a firm decision on his own, I will personally wrestle the man down to the ground and "help" him reach a decision in great haste! ha!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Overheard around the Williams household...

Snippets of conversations heard around a certain nine-year-old member of the Williams family:

After a day of swimming with some friends:

Mommy: So, Hannah, were you excited to swim with so-and-so?*

Hannah: No, I don’t have a crush on him anymore.

Mommy: Really? Because he didn’t like you back?

Hannah: Yeah, I guess so. Besides, I’ve moved on. I have a new crush. I like Chris now (Texas Rangers ball player).

Mommy: Is that so?

Hannah: Yes. (Hand to her chest) It’s the end of an era. The end of my first crush. (Gives an impish grin)

Mommy: Sounds good to me!

*Name has been changed to protect the no-longer-crushed-on boy

-----

A conversation at bedtime:

Hannah: Mommy, did Satan turn himself into a serpent when he talked to Eve in the Garden, or did he live in the serpent?

Mommy: Well, I believe he lived in the serpent, because God cursed the serpent later in Genesis, so it was like the serpent “had a choice” sort of. Hard to explain, I guess.

Hannah: Oh.

Mommy: Yes, you know Satan (or his angels) can live in people, too. That’s what it means when someone is demon-possessed. You hear more of that in the Bible, but it can happen today. More in terms of that Satan has control over our lives with sin, such as taking drugs, being mean to others, etc.

Hannah: (dramatically folds hands as in prayer) Oh, Mommy! I’m going to pray every day so the devils won’t live in me! Now I’m scared!

Mommy: You don’t need to be scared! A person has to pretty much be turning his back against God, and tell God to “go away” in his life for that to happen. But if he/she does, they’re fair game to Satan.

Hannah: Is that like when Jesus sent the demons from the man into the pigs, in the Bible story? The pigs went all crazy and oinked all the way over the cliff!

Mommy: (laughing) Yes! That’s exactly right!

-----

While driving around town:

Hannah: Mommy, there’s a car accident! I’m going to pray for the people involved! “Dear Jesus, be with the people in the wreck. Help them not to be hurt. Help them to be OK. Keep mommy and me safe on the road. And help Daddy to enjoy his peace and quiet while we’re gone.” (FYI: Daddy did! Ha!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Land Ho, the Williams family goes boating (retro pix)


















Here's a fun scrapbook page. Hannah was about five years old when we took these pictures. "Oh captain, my captain John" looks as handsome as ever. And yes, aren't those life vests flattering--I practically look like America's Next Top Model in mine! ha!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Motherhood rambles

Well, this week we've been going through "withdrawls" from not having Grandma around! But Hannah and Daddy have gotten into the routine of swimming at noon and suppertime, for the most part. I try to get Hannah out and about, but it's hard to think of different things to do when it's so hot outside. Also, I know Hannah misses her school friends. She spent the day and overnight at a girlfriend's house Sunday and Sunday night and I know she was so happy to get to be with a friend, especially Marlee!

Today was an unusual day. Hannah came inside from playing in the shade with her neighbor kid friends, and complained of lots of bug bites. After a few minutes, I realized her face was starting to swell up, and the bug bites on arms and legs were not bug bites, but she was having some allergic reaction to something! She had had some gum (thanks to a neighbor kid), and maybe she had an allergic reaction to that? Poor thing, she's snoozing on the couch, with her feet under my laptop, because of so much Benadryl in her! I've had a few allergic reactions in the past, and that was the main thing that helped me. She was starting to get really scared, poor little baby. She looks so peaceful, though, I hate to wake her up. Plus, I know she was disappointed at not going swimming--and I just don't know if that's a good idea, even if the swelling's down.

She seemed to really want me near her. So here I am on the couch, feet propped up on the coffee table, and Hannah sawing wood next to me. Hate to do it, but I better wake her up soon; I don't want her to not sleep tonight and it's so late in the day to take a nap! Also, having Mary Poppins movie going on in the background makes for such a surreal afternoon! ha!

I love being a mother. Even with the ups and downs and craziness of another person's life so deeply enmeshed with mine, until I can sometimes no longer see ME, I love this little girl with the honey-wheat blond hair, sparkling personality and practical joke ways. She smiles into places of my soul I never knew were dark--until she was born. I love you, precious Hannah. Time to wake up.

love,
Hannah's Mommy

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

A makeover of sorts



















We are having a wonderful visit with John's mom. Hannah is VERY happy to have her Grandma Williams here! They have a special bond and I am so glad about that.

So far, we've just run some errands, driven around a little, and yet mostly stayed at home and just spent time together. Grandma and Hannah especially like to put puzzles together. Hannah loves having companionship, so I know she is in seventh heaven to have such a special guest!

When I returned from my lovely vacation a few days ago, I returne
d home to a mess--a frustrating, inFuriating follicle mess! Hannah had gotten a knot in her hair about as big as a bird's nest! It was so insane, we couldn't brush, comb, or coax it out. So it had to go. So now folks, pictured above is the involuntary makeover of a nine-year-old girl. From long and luxurious to cute, sassy and Pixie Girl!

Oh, and did I mention: I was the hairdresser? Welcome to Williams' Salon! ha! Pretty good for my first time, I suppose! Actually fairly even in the back. Maybe I have a new career?... Nah.

All for now,
Tricia

p.s. These photos were taken about a week or two apart. Does she look older now?
p.s.s. Mom? This was the "surprise" I told you about that Hannah wanted to show you. So, uh, SURPRISE! ha!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rapper John and other news

Yes, that is my dear hubby posing as a "rapper dude," for the camera. No, he is not starting yet another new career, (although I secretly believe he could do anything he puts his mind to!).

No, this is simply a rather comical photo to go with a humdrum, life-with-the-Williams' update.

My latest creative endeavors include learning to crochet. So far, I like it. This winter cap, for example, John so kindly agreed to model. Well, model and WEAR. I crocheted it just for him, an early Father's Day present. I figure you can never start early enough on presents. Never mind that we may soon reach temperatures in the three digits!

But anyway, our lives have been so busy I will list them, for a little variety here, in bullet form, hopefully giving the impression I'm very organized and goal-oriented (OK, John, go ahead and laugh at that one!)

* We have attended several end-of-the-school year functions and now have enough under our belts to tide us over into the summer months (and way beyond). These include visits to the Fort Worth zoo; a Battle of the Books competition between area Seventh-day Adventist 3rd and 4th graders; a spectacular Rangers baseball game where Hannah is sure her screaming helped them to win; and of course, a musical program conducted at Arlington SDA Church that featured every kind of sea creature (which looked suspiciously like elementary school children) praising God for everything Under the Sea.

* John and I, thanks to several friends, have been able to have a few nice dates here and there, going for long (and cheap!), dreamy walks in the springtime breezes.

* Hannah has been asking questions about being baptized and what it means "exactly," a question I was thrilled to answer, even if I knew it was somewhat of a stall tactic at bedtime. :)

* After three weeks of proud guinea pig ownership, we found a lump under said piggy's neck and scurried around (us, not him) to find out if it's treatable. . . or not. After one major misdiagnosis this week, when we were told he'd have to have surgery, the second vet said it IS treatable. Jackie Fred Williams is resting comfortably in his hay-made hospital bed at home. We proudly admit that his last name is devoted, as an earlier blog post mentioned, to that short, fat, lovable roly-poly Fred Murtz of I Love Lucy show.

* Ethel, our Dodge Neon, gave us fits this week. (Yes, we have a secret fascination with that 1950s show. Now we're just waiting for some handsome Cuban to schmooze his way into our lives.) So John spent two very long days working at Tom Thumb near the Goodyear.

* I continue to toss, throw, purge, organize and donate many, many items to Goodwill or friends. On the flip side, we were ecstatic to find a large patio/balcony shade for our own home at the Dumpster. We were surprised to find it still in good working condition. John let out a Whoop! (or was that me?) when we realized we don't have to bake in the afternoon sun this summer. We now have a lot of shade, and a smidge of privacy, for those hot summer nights laden with mosquitoes and lemonade.

Life has been good, bad and ugly--but never boring. God continues to bless and keep us through it all. May He bless and keep YOU today.

Tricia

Monday, May 4, 2009

He takes such good care of us



Today as I was walking, I listened to Phillps, Craig and Dean, one of my favorite contemporary Christian music groups. Their songs are so poignant and worshipful, filled with praise and glory
to God. I found the lyrics to a song, I've Got You Covered," online and thought I'd share them here. Beautiful!

"I've Got You
Covered"

A scene so familiar at the old five and dime
The little boy waited his turn in line
And with eyes so intent he proudlydisplayed
The candy he'd buy with the money he'd saved
The girl at the counter wasn't sure what to do

'Cause the money was less than the price that was due
Then a stranger spoke up from his place in line

Said "Whatever he's short, just take it and add it to mine,

Chorus:

I've got you covered, I'll pay the difference,
You don't have to worry at all,
Whatever the cost is I'll go the distance,

If you fail, I will catch you
You know I won't let you feel like you're there all alone,
I've got you covered."

Sometimes when I look back, it's hard to explain

Just how far I've come
Yet how little has changed,
I still long to hold what seems so out of reach
Only to find out it's not what it seems,
I come to the Father, alone and afraid

In need of forgiveness yet it's so far away
I cry out for mercy, a child so in need--
With a voice of compassion the Father calls
out to me,

"I know what you"re facing, I see where you're standing
I'm holding all the answers you need
'Cause no situation will ever take you out of My reach."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oldie but goodie (Valentine's cards)




Okay, so yes, I KNOW Valentine's is long gone and spring has sprung, but I have been trying my hand at a new craft--Crochet--and haven't been making as many cards as usual. But I have oodles of cards just waiting to be posted on here, so I thought I'd pick these bright and cheery ones. After green, red is my next favorite color. And sometimes, I like it better, when I'm feeling wild, carefree and unbridled (okay, now that you all are giggling at the image of ME being wild...) Go RED!