Reunion Weekend

In November, the entire Williams family met up in Cordele, Georgia.  My grandfather, Ed Williams, grew up in Cordele and has lived there his entire life.  He and his wife, Marylene, are no longer able to travel so we planned a family reunion in Cordele so that he could see everyone.  We love Grandpa and Marylene and we know how much they love their family.  It was such a treat to give him the gift of a reunion, and in return, it was a gift to all of us.

We rented cabins out at Lake Blackshear for the weekend so that the kids would be able to run around uncontrolled for a few days.  That was a great decision!!  There were 8 kids, ages 3-11, that really enjoyed each others company all weekend. Tom and I brought down three of our kids’ bikes and they rode them around non-stop for the entire weekend.  It made me wish that we lived on that many acres so that the kids could just run around safely without adult supervision all of the time!

The only problem that we had all weekend occurred during the first night – my bed and two others had bed bugs!!  So gross!  I felt like there were little things crawling on me in the night, but I thought that it was my imagination.  Wrong!!  I slept with bed bugs.  Thankfully, I was in a bed by myself because Tom was in the next bed with Wilson.  They switched us to a better room the next day after the bugs had been discovered, but I had already been eaten alive that night.  It is a week later and I feel like I have the chicken pox! I don’t think I will ever be able to sleep in a cabin every again!!

After we moved rooms, and they washed all of our clothes, we got back into the fun of the weekend.  I had a great time playing frisbee golf with all of my cousins.  I rarely see my cousins and some of them I hardly know.  Doug and I are so much older than everyone else, but once everyone started to get married and have kids, the age gap seemed to close in quite a bit.  I have never even really hung out with my cousin Luke, and I had never met his wife Carol, but after our bonding over bed bugs, we really got along great!  It was such an amazing blessing to get to know them better.  They are really great people!

Overall, I am so thankful for my family!  I have been born into such an amazing group of loving people.  We enjoy each others’ company and want to be together.  That doesn’t always happen in families, but it happened in mine.  I know that I am loved by my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents…and I love them in return.  I know that we made Grandpa so happy by coming to see him.  After the reunion, we swung by his house on the way out of town to hang out a bit.  The kids ran around in his yard while the rest of us socialized and rested.  It was an amazing weekend and I would love to do it again!

NC State Football

It has been years since I have been to an NC state football game. My dad used to have season tickets and I would go to a couple of games a year, but that was over 8 years ago.  While we were at the lake with Doug and Mavis over Labor Day weekend we planned a football game get away weekend together. Of course we ended up choosing the biggest game of the year to attend: NC state vs Clemson. It was so much fun! 

We arrived at Mavis and Jeff’s house Friday night, socialized and drank a bit too much wine. :). We were excited to see each other!!  Saturday morning arrived quickly!  We at breakfast, packed up the car, got on our NCSU gear, picked up some BBQ and we were on our way!  We tailed gated for hours, played Corn Hole, ate and drank and went into the game. 

The game was the loudest game I think that I have ever been to.  The fans were so loud! It was a great experience!  We lost the game, but the weekend is to be remembered.  We plan to do it again next year. 

Halloween!

This year, Halloween was a little bit different than it has been in years past.  Tom and I had a meeting that we HAD to attend and so we were unable to take the kids trick-or-treating this year.  We let each of the kids pick where they wanted to go for Halloween, and of course, they each picked a different house!  It took a bit of driving around town, but it worked out, thanks to my parents doing the driving.

Wilson went trick-or-treating with the Youngs, Miller went with the Rotherts and Faith went with her friend, Presley.  They all had a great time and came home with more candy than I have ever seen them get.  We have all bought some of their candy from them and they still have pounds of it!

Faith as Evie from Descendants and Presley the Angel….IMG_3484

Wilson the pirate and Jesse is Dorothy…..IMG_1819

Miller is a ninja and I assume that is Hudson as a transformer…..haha…..

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Wilson with his favorite funny face…which makes me laugh….

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Faith is 10!

IMG_3491 IMG_3400 IMG_3402 IMG_3405 IMG_3408 My baby girl turned ten-years-old today!  Yesterday she and I looked at a picture that I have of her in my room when she was only a few days old and was sooo tiny!  Now she is a ten year old, fourth grader that does flips non-stop!  Where did the time go?

Faith is such a good friend and sweet girl. She is kind to everyone (even her brothers, most of the time) and has a big heart.  I have loved getting to know her better over the past year. Homeschooling has it’s challenges, but she and I have definitely improved our relationship through our time together each day.  I love that she wants to spend time with me and cuddle up at night.  She may be getting bigger but she is still my little girl who loves her Mommy, and for that I am very thankful.   Faith used to be so shy (and still is a little), but she has been so brave and adaptable through all of the schooling changes that we have made over the past few years.  I am proud of the young lady that she is becoming.

Faith had her party a few weeks ago at the gym where she does gymnastics.  She had a great time with her friends and then had a few of them spend the night.  She was so excited to have her party.  She decorated the house all by herself and had a vision for how it was to be done.  She definitely has a knack for decorating and putting together outfits….she can do it better than I can!!

Here are some pictures of the birthday fun!!  I love you Faith!!

Transformation

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I had an amazing revelation today while I was reading my Bible.  I read two verses and they spoke to me like never before.  I had read them many times before, but I guess I never really knew what they meant until today.  Today, the Lord opened my eyes to really understand them.  Here is what the verses said:

“For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge – because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.”..1 Corinthians 1:5-6

I was reminded of a phone call that occurred between me and an old friend of mine that called me out of the blue about ten years ago.  This friend was a hot mess back in the day.  She cussed, drank a lot, her speech was always a bit slurred (in my memories of her), and in general she was a mess. (Of course, I was not much better.)  She called me out of the blue to apologize for some of the things that she had said and done many years prior.  I remember talking to her a bit and then hanging up the phone and saying to my mom, “I think that my friend has become a Christian.  She sounds so different.  She sounded like a different person.  Only the Lord can change someone’s voice and the way they speak and sound.”  I retold the conversation to Tom later that week and he said, “Becca, that is probably what your friends think about you as well.  Your voice and speech has changed due to your relationship with the Lord.”  It was an eye-opening conversation.  I had never thought about myself being changed or transformed.

Now, back to today’s revelation about this Bible verse…In the verse it says, that for in Jesus, we have been enriched in every way – in our speaking and in our knowledge!  When I, or we, become Christians and accept Christ as Savior, we are given His Spirit.  We are enriched in every way – our speech changes and our knowledge of Him increases.  Hence, we sound different than we did before we believed.  We have been transformed – every aspect of our lives can be transformed into His likeness – the things we say, the way we talk, the way we act, the way we treat others, etc.

The end of this verse really brings home the message – “because our testimony of Christ was confirmed in you.”  Paul and the other disciples were preaching that Jesus was the Son of God and that he came to set us free from sin and this world.  They were preaching that Jesus leads to life, and a new life in Him.  When we accept this gospel message, we are given a new life, new speech, and new knowledge, and it shows to the others that we interact with.  Paul knew that this transformation would occur, and that this change was proof that Jesus is the true Messiah.  This transformation was obvious in the lives of the believers that he was writing to, it is obvious in my life and in the life of my friend that I spoke to on the phone!  That is praise worthy!

I am so thankful that God revealed this verse to me and that I can claim it as true in my life.   I am thankful that I have God’s Word to read and to have it revealed to me.  I am thankful that “I am a new creation in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come.”                           2 Cor  5:17

A Healthier Mammogram Alternative

Have you ever heard of a “thermogram”?  I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I had found a lump that needed to be examined more closely.  After watching “The Truth About Cancer” video series last year, I had already decided that I was not going to get a mammogram unless it was absolutely necessary. The videos explained how women are being exposed to high amounts of radiation each year for a test that is only 50% effective.

Dr. Mercola’s website states that, “Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, has stated:

“The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.””   http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/03/experts-say-avoid-mammograms.aspx

Being the health nut that I am, I went on the hunt for a safer test to find the answers that I needed.

Thankfully, the Lord pointed me to two different people to help me along my path to finding out if the lump that I felt was harmful.  My first wise decision was to confide in my friend, Delaney, who is a nurse.  I hoped that she would have some great medical insight for me and she did!  She told me that she had heard of a thing called “thermography” and that I should look into it.  I googled “thermography charlotte” and only one placed popped up.  It was the Thermography Center in Matthews.  I immediately made an appointment for the next day (because it is such an unknown process, they weren’t overly busy).

This appointment was the most amazing experience I have had in a long time.  The woman who took the thermogram (infrared heat sensitive pictures) was an amazing, christian woman.   She took the pictures and then explained everything to me right then and there.  I knew within minutes what I was looking at, what needed to be addressed, and what didn’t.  First and foremost, the lump I felt was nothing to worry about.  Because thermograms sense heat within the body, anything that was red on the screen was a place in my body where heat was building up more than it should.  On the other end of the spectrum, parts that were blue were cooler.  A cancerous tumor (or one forming) would appear red on the screen because it is a living thing inside of you that is drawing blood so that it can grow.  This test can see where problems are occurring years before they turn cancerous (a mammogram can only see the problem after it is already over 1 cm and potentially cancerous).  She could see where estrogen was building up in my chest, which could lead to problems down the road. Then she advised me on how to get rid of that build up.  I could even see on the screen where my lump was and that it was blue.  :)  Blue = good

I am writing all of this to tell you to please ask around to see if there is a thermography center where you live.  It may not be covered by insurance but they will take your HSA card.  It is worth the little bit of extra money that you may spend.  You will not regret taking the extra time and effort to get a better test than the one that squishes your boobs so hard that it hurts and then sends radiation throughout your body at the same time.  I thank God everyday that the lump I felt was not cancerous.  I am also very thankful that the Lord directed me to Kathrine Wassung at the Charlotte Thermography Center.  It turns out that there are numerous thermography offices in Charlotte, but for some reason, only one appeared on my screen that day.  The Lord was directing my steps and saving me from having to do a mammogram unnecessarily.  I am telling everyone I know about this test because it was fascinating, painless, and effective.

I have attached an interesting bit of an article for you to read and the link to the “Truth About Cancer” series that discusses mammograms and thermography.  Please check them out!

This is the actual video footage from “The Truth About Cancer” series.  Please watch this video.  

Mammograms Cause Breast Cancer (video)

Homeschool Conference and Prayer

Last weekend, I went to the homeschool conference in Greenville, SC with a purpose – to be inspired and to choose a Language Arts curriculum for both Wilson and Faith.  If you have never been to a homeschool conference then I can describe it for you in two words: motivational and overwhelming.  There are two parts to a conference…1. speakers   2. the vendor hall.

Each hour at a conference there are ten different speakers that a parent can go and listen to.  The speakers are amazing and motivational.  They are usually professors, brain scientists, or seasoned homeschool moms or dads (or a combination of all three).  I love getting tips from them about how to homeschool many children of different ages, how to handle strong-willed children, or how to better teach math without arguing with your kid.  They are “motivational”.

Now, the vendor hall is absolutely “overwhelming”.  There is a huge gym filled with over a hundred vendors selling games, curriculum, videos, books, etc.  The first time I walked into the vendor hall I just turned back around and walked back out.  It was super intense.  This time, however, I walked in and started to survey the situation.  I knew that I needed some language arts curriculum for my kids.  I have failed them terribly in terms of LA.  We do spelling and handwriting, but I don’t teach them how to analyze books or how to do reading comprehension.  It is not my strong suit.

I must preface this by telling you that over the last week, I had been praying for wisdom.  It says in James 1:5 that “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  I trust in that verse and have been seeking God’s wisdom so that I know where to go next.  I took that verse with me last weekend and prayed for wisdom every step of the way.  I prayed about which speaker to go see and which curriculum I should buy.  I knew that I couldn’t do it on my own….I needed God to guide and direct my steps.

I ended up going to listen to a few speakers (one about strong-willed children which was fantastic), and then I hit the curriculum hall.  I found some books about how to play chess, which will be super helpful, if I ever get around to using them.  Wilson loves chess and I need to be able to teach him some strategy.  In the end, I talked to over 5 different curriculum companies, took their pamphlets and then prayed over it all while I ate a few oranges.  I asked God to guide my steps.  I ended up going back over to the Bob Jones table to look at their LA curriculum again.  As I began to talk to one lady, I noticed that there was a girl working there that I knew.  She ran the co-op that I planned to attend a few weeks later.  I talked to her about their virtual learning and was sold.  I spent a pretty penny on that curriculum for Wilson and Faith, but I knew that a teacher on the TV would be significantly better at teaching LA than I would.  I felt as if God had led me to the right booth and put a familiar face at it to help me along.

I knew that God was there with me nudging me along that day.  He knows better than I do what the kids need, and what I need.  Being away for the day and going to the conference was a blessing in, and of, itself.  Being led by the Holy Spirit was another blessing.  I am looking forward to using the new curriculum that I bought that day.  It is greatly needed in our homeschool and I am thankful that I have the ability to buy it and give the kids what they need, and I need.