Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Great-Grandma Hood's quilt

From the stitches you can tell some were by made by hand and some with her treadle sewing machine.
The colors and combinations are....well......
...not exactly pretty.
The pieces are remnants of previous sewing projects. Odds and ends joined together with fabric from flour sacks.
The quilt top has sat around for many, many years. After my grandmother passed away, I asked my aunt for one of Grandma Hood's quilt tops. I envisioned one of her beautiful Wedding Ring quilts or one of her Star of Bethlehem quilts. This quilt wasn't what I had in mind.

I brought it home, gave it a good cleaning and tucked it away. For some reason, I happened to think about it the other day. I thought that maybe it might look good on Adam's bed. I brought it out and looked at it with new appreciation.

For the past week it has been sitting on the back of my sofa. I've decided that it is perfect for my living room.

I smile every time I walk past it.

PS. I took the quilt to the local fabric shop today. I've decided to try and finish the quilt top. The lady at the shop said the cream fabric is feed sacks and the pink calico print (in the picture above) is from a flour sack... I just fell deeper in love with this quilt.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Knitting frenzy

The frenzy started innocently enough....just one hat.  I knitted it on the way to New Orleans over Thanksgiving break.

Then I decided to knit a hat for each of the boys. Finished those and decided I had enough yarn to make a hat for each of the twins. Realized I couldn't leave out Seth and Avery so I knitted two more hats. Before you knew it, everyone had a new hat for Christmas.
Back row: Clay is holding Cage, Zach, Avery is holding Colton.  Front row:  Seth & Adam - Christmas night at Granny & Papa's house.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The boys modeling their new knitted hats-Christmas morning 2009

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends

Monday, December 21, 2009

A family in need and two teenage boys who recognized that need

Someone asked if they knew of a family in need and they immediately stepped up to the plate. They went shopping, personally selected each item, and delivered them on Saturday.
More often than not, I'm fussing at them about their grades, homework, messy rooms, and dirty laundry.  I worry that they don't "get it."  ("It" being responsibility, maturity, and/or helping others...basically not being self-centered but Christ-centered)

Watching them carry their presents to the truck on Saturday reassured me that they are "getting it."  

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An afternoon sewing project

A thrifted bolt of fabric becomes a new Christmas tree skirt. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Thoughts....

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:15

Friday, December 11, 2009

Driver's License

Zach took his driving test this morning.  He passed.  He can now take himself back and forth from football practice and weight training (happy dance).  Also, I have about three months where driving to the grocery store to get a gallon of milk for your mom is still a novelty and not a chore.   Better take advantage of it while I can.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

College applications

He's getting serious about applying to college.  SAT's, college essays, GPA's, extra-curricular activities are all topics heard around our house.  
As a teacher, I know these things are important (well.. not so much).  As a parent, I resent him being reduced to a test score or a grade point average.  
He's grown a lot this past year.  We are in new territory here.  He's on the verge of adulthood and we are going through the growing pains of learning how to parent an adult child.  It's not easy.  You constantly have to juggle when to let them be independent and when to step in and help/instruct.  It's hard to stand back and let them be independent. Really, really, hard...

Everyone relates a child leaving home to a baby bird flying away from the nest for the first time.  

I'm sure the momma bird feels a mixture of relief and fear.  Relief because the nest is getting too small.  The constant flying practices and feedings are wearing her out.   But then the time comes to take that first official flight and the second-guessing begins.  Is he ready?  What if (blank) happens?  Will he know what to do if (blank) happens?  Can he fend for himself? Maybe I should have spent more time working on (blank).

We watch the baby bird stretch its wings and we take it for granted that it will always turn out OK. 

It sounds so simple and easy.  Reality isn't so simple or easy when it's your nest and your baby bird. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving and giving back

We traveled back to New Orleans for Thanksgiving break with a small group of volunteers from our church.  Our goal was to complete the drywall in four rooms, hang doors, paint, and set a few kitchen cabinets.  

We also planned to have Thanksgiving dinner in the house.  We pre-ordered a turkey with dressing, gravy, rolls, and pumpkin pie.  I brought green beans and corn.  Another lady baked a couple of pies, and another lady brought sweet potatoes.  We plugged in our crock pots and we were set.  
Well not quite....We forgot the carving knife.  Luckily Doug had a knife in his truck.  It wasn't pretty but it did the job. We set up dinner in the front room. 
It was a day filled with sheetrock dust and mud.  The day was also filled with lots of laughter. 
While there was a great deal of work completed, there was also a fair amount of good-natured teasing and jokes.  We were a group of teachers, ministers, moms,  students, and a judge working together toward a common goal.  

It was a time for each of us to reflect on all the good things that we have been blessed with in the past year. 

It was a time for each of us to give back in our own different ways.  

It was a time to step out of our comfortable homes and get uncomfortable for the sake of others. 

It was a time for some to temporarily leave behind the stress, worry, and grief that has recently flooded their lives.  

It was a time to work shoulder-to-shoulder with a brother and sister in Christ.

It was a time to give back.

The best part about the trip is the fact that on Sunday morning a group of believers will gather in the front room of this house for the first time since Katrina to worship together.  

It was time.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Galatians 6:9-10

Sunday, November 22, 2009


16 years ago you came into our lives....2 weeks early I might add.  I'll never forget seeing those blue eyes for the first time.  They took my breath away. 
You were such a tiny baby.  Barely 18 1/2 inches long.  I remember worrying that you would be small for the rest of your life.  Now you come home and tell me about squatting 375 lbs in weight training.  

16 years.  It really does go by too fast.

Be strong and be faithful Zach.... we love you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday afternoon drive

Zach wanted to practice driving his jeep.  He turns 16 in a week and will be taking his driving test soon.  

It was a beautiful day and I wanted to visit some old family homesites.  
There are 4 different buildings and the old house still standing on this property. Inside one building is an assortment of old glass jars.  I don't think they ever threw anything away.  I saw several old tin canning jar lids that I would have loved to brought home.  I was too afraid of snakes and cutting myself on the glass to go into the building.

The door into the wood shop.  It amazes me that these buildings are still standing.  The old logs have not shifted.  The foundation under each building is simple stacked stones.  Nothing fancy. They used what what they had.  One building was still filled with firewood kindling in anticipation of winter.  This generation had lived through the depression and summers were spent canning and storing up supplies for the winter.  A trip to town was considered a luxury. You had to rely on yourself.  While my generation feels secure with a safe retirement fund or a healthy bank account, their security came from having plenty of canned goods, firewood, and a firm belief that God would provide everything else.

An old truck still parked at my great-aunt Bessie's house.  When I was a little girl, I would ride with my grandmother on Sunday afternoons to visit my great-grandmother.  As soon as we got there, we would call Aunt Bessie to come over and make hot chocolate.  I never remember a time that she didn't come over.  She was never too busy to make us hot chocolate.  

She'd take Hersey's cocoa, add a little sugar, heat the milk in a pan and mix in the sweetened cocoa.  Then she would serve it in a coffee cup with a saucer.  All my great-grandmother's family would drink their coffee by pouring a little into the saucer and drinking from the saucer. Once the coffee in the cup cooled, they would drink the remaining coffee out of the cup.  My sister and I would imitate the adults with our hot chocolate.
Old doorknob at my great-uncle's house.  He lived in this house until his death just a few years ago.  It is a very primitive house.  He never had hot water in the house.  Several family members offered to install a water heater and he refused.  The old wood stove where he heated his water is still in the living room.  He was very self-sufficient.  I admire that in a person.

The old rock wall at my great-grandmother's home place.  The house has long since disappeared but the new owners have left the old rock wall and steps.  

Sweet memories.

Fall Formal

Clay and Zach went to the fall formal this past Saturday night.  Clay had to attend a class so he missed the picture session.
Zach and Chelsi
The entire group.  Clay's date is the girl in the center wearing pink and black.  After smiling for their moms and taking picture after picture, they all went to dinner together and then to the dance.  

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Early Morning

This was the view from my front porch this past week.  Simply beautiful....

Sunday, November 1, 2009


It's official.  I'm the mom of three teenage boys.  Happy 13th Birthday Adam.  

Sunday thoughts....

My new porch cushions.  I found the fabric at the thrift store.  3 yards for $3!  I love a good bargain.
"Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest; home-keeping hearts are happiest." Longfellow

This quote pretty much describes me.  While I don't care for cleaning or laundry, I get all out of sorts if it gets too messy. I love being home. It is where I am the happiest.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Football....will it ever end?

Just a few more weeks of football.  Just a few more weeks until we actually get to go home after school and STAY there until the next morning.  Oh, I can hardly wait...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday thoughts....

When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”  Erma Bombeck

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Time

Our first camping trip was over 10 years ago.  Adam was just a baby.  We spent the night in a tent and we were miserable.  We had joined some friends at the last minute and we were unprepared.  However, the boys had a great time. Despite the cold, uncomfortable (and long) night, we decided to give camping another try. 
The guys at the top of Lover's Leap above the Natural Tunnel

We took our small tax refund check and bought a tent, camp stove, lanterns, and a few other basic supplies.  We were ready.  
Checking out a pig at Martin's Station and discussing the economy.

Since that initial camping trip, we've bought and traded a pop-up camper and two fifth wheel campers. We've visited 22 states, many historic sites, and state/national parks.  Almost all vacations are planned around our camper.  Adam once asked if we could go to Hawaii.  I told him probably not because the camper would have a hard time crossing the ocean.

We've traveled solo and with other families.  We've put many, many miles on our truck.
Zach, Adam, and Clay at Martin's Station in Virginia (Oct. 2009)

While the trips have been memorable, the best thing about camping is the time we spend together as a family.  Now, I'd be less than honest if  I left the impression that our camping trips are always filled with "smiles and happiness."  They're not.

We have our fair share of grumbling, (one particular incident at Yellowstone will forever be ingrained in my memory) but we also have lots of laughter and happy times. We've visited many beautiful places together.  The word at the end of that sentence is the reason we enjoy camping.  Together.  

I love the quote..."We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."  

That sums it up for the Williams family.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cumberland Gap-Fall Break

Pinnacle Point

We packed up the camper and headed to Cumberland Gap, TN this past Friday.  A weekend spent with family and friends.  No alarm clocks, no football practice/games, no after-school jobs, no homework, nothing but relaxation and re-connecting as a family.  
Morning hike with Adam
It was a beautiful place.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Middle Child

Fishing at Granny and Papa's

He doesn't have a lot of patience with people.  However, put a fishing pole in his hand and he will stand still for hours.  I've watched him patiently wait for a shy kitten to crawl up in his lap when no one else could coax it out of hiding.   When it comes to animals, he has unlimited patience.

Several  years ago he spent an entire afternoon in a creek trying to catch a trout. We were camping with another family and the kids got the bright idea to try and catch a trout with their bare hands. They tried for about an hour and gave up.  But not Zach.   He stood bent over in the creek with his hands in the water for most of the afternoon.  Patiently waiting for a trout to come close enough for him to catch.  The other kids would call for him to come play but he stayed in the creek.  He was on a mission to catch a trout.  I'll never forget the excitement that erupted when he caught the trout or the big grin on his face.  

I'm a firm believer that God "wired" my kids personalities a certain way because He has grand plans for them.  While I get frustrated with his lack of patience with people, I'm reminded that his strong will and quiet determination are there for a reason.  God has a plan for each of my boys.  Someday those traits, if he remains obedient to God, will serve him well.  I'm looking forward to watching those plans unfold.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Building a fire

I brought the camera with me on our Labor Day camping trip.  I was just too lazy to take any pictures. 
I did manage to snap a few of Adam trying to build a campfire.  

Then Bob stepped in to help.

When I compare this picture to pictures taken less than a year ago, I'm stunned by the difference. 

No more boys at my house anymore.....only young men.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009