S: Wilson Family Yearbook 2009-2010
BC: "Life is nothing if not an adventure." --Helen Keller
FC: Wilson Family Yearbook 2009-2010
1: It has been another amazing year for our family. God continues to shine down on us in ways we never would have imagined, and we are so grateful for His overwhelming blessings in all of our lives. | This was the view from my kitchen window on the first Saturday morning that I finally lived in Vermont with my family. It still gives me chills to remember how it felt to see this after all that time apart. God's promises are always right on time.
2: This year Macy and Grace took turns reading the Christmas story.
3: Christmas Eve at Nana and Papa's | It was fun to have Uncle Jim and Aunt Coylene there too.
4: Lots of hugs for everyone | so happy to be together
5: And then of course--tradition continues with ice cream sundaes. Christmas Eve wouldn't be complete without them.
6: Christmas Eve 2009
7: We are so blessed
8: Christmas Day 2009
9: 1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
10: Christmas Day at Grandmom and Granddad's | A house that is always full of LOVE
11: All About Family
12: Macy and Grace are always happy to unwrap one of their favorite gifts at Grandmom and Granddad's each year. . .
13: Cousins everywhere!!! | . . .but their VERY favorite thing about Christmas at Grandmom and Granddad's is ALL THOSE PEOPLE who love them so much!
14: After watching Grace almost literally fly around the house for awhile, Mickey bet her she couldn't be still for 10 minutes. | WILD WOMAN
15: She would NOT move. She wouldn't even smile, because she said that would be moving her mouth. ;-) | Much to EVERYONE's surprise, Grace won the bet! (I don't think there was a prize, but she sure did prove a point. :-D) | not jokin' around face
16: MMMMWWWAAAAAHH!!! | happy children make the world a better place
17: Right back atcha ;-)
18: Silliness! | (It's good for your soul.) | Why, yes--our PJ's do match. Thanks ever so much for noticing! ;-)
19: "Jody, you are drinking out of a flower pot!!!" --Mom | I don't even know what's happening right here, but it's a special kinda crazy for sure. . . . . .
21: A few days after Christmas, Vick brought all of the girls over to her house for their very own "spa getaway." She let them soak in the hot tub, and then she and Leah gave them all manicures and pedicures. They thought they were so special!
22: Every time I spend time with my Mom and sisters, I laugh until I am almost literally sick. I'm so blessed and grateful to have family that are also my best friends.
24: On New Year's Eve, we always start just before dark and let the younger kids do the "simple stuff." Then the "big kids" put on a show for us with the "big fireworks" after dark.
26: New Year's Eve | Grandmom was COLD!
27: Josh and Leah always do such a good job planning out the fireworks show. (They are quite creative about it!) It's fun to just pull up a chair, get bundled up and watch the magic! | They even make their own designs!
28: We decided one day to bundle all of the kids up and take them to Kemah for a day of adventure. Most people do this during the summer, but the good news is that there are NO LINES in the winter. We stepped right off of one ride and right onto the other all day long (and even stayed on some for several rounds. in a row)
29: All these crazy cousins had so much fun together!
32: I scheduled my last trip before finally getting to move home for good during Macy and Grace's spring break. This gave me plenty of play time with my babies!
33: Jared had to go out of town for a conference for a couple days while I was there, but we squeezed in some fun play time for the whole family before he left.
34: The first day that Dad was out of town, we had a true "Girls' Day" over at Ms. Deitra's. She treated us all like princesses. We got to see her amazing doll house, play with her miniature horses and enjoy tea in her beautiful home. | Macy and Gracies' BFF's Katie and Kyla Blanch joined us too! | Flurry and Snoopy. Sweet pups.
35: Ms. Deitra even gave each of the girls their very own sewing kit, including fabric, ribbon and everything.
37: Tim was so sweet and patient with the girls--helping them climb up and down every tree they ran into. | And then the next day Mrs. Kim and Tim Carr led us on a hike right in their back yard that led to this beautiful view.
38: Time for | My sweet friend Ron Smith threw me the surprise party to top all others about 2 weeks before it was time for me to move. I thought we were going to one last meeting to make sure we didn't have any loose ends to deal with, but instead it was lunch with some of my favorite friends from LifeWay... .....AND MY PARENTS and GRANDMOTHER! He had flown them up from Houston to help celebrate, and I can't think of anything that would have surprised me more. So special!!! | ***Since I had no clue this was happening, I didn't have my camera to get any pictures, but this one of me with my Mom that my friend Rachel sent me pretty much tells the whole story. | Farewells
39: Todd Skrove and Dusty Wells from Word. Love them! | Amy Garrison. Precious. | Trish Harris. My sister from another mother. Couldn't live without her. | Sweet, Sweet Mindy Henderson. Wish I could have brought her with me. | Th Gift Team (plus Mark Beyer in the back). I'm gonna miss them. | The lovely ladies of marketing, each one amazing. I loved working with them! | Donnie Baldwin. Oh the stories I could tell! We worked together for 15 years, and he made me laugh almost the whole time. | Michael Robbins. The real deal. Such a good friend. | Leticia Pinto (then--now Mrs. Drew Workman). As sweet as they come. | It's all so surreal. | And then came the LifeWay party. I can't believe it's been 15 years. Crazy! What a wild ride!
41: Farewell to 7303 Clearview Drive, Fairview TN. You served us well.
42: When it was FINALLY time for me to move to Vermont, JoJo agreed to fly to Nashville and make the drive with me, then fly back to Houston from Albany, NY. I was definitely ready to get home to VT as soon as possible, but since we figured we would likely never make this drive again, we wanted to make a few stops along the way and make it an adventure. Destinations included Mammoth Caves in KY, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in OH, Niagara Falls in NY and several places we spotted along the way and stopped to investigate. ;-) It was such a fun time to spend together! Memories for a lifetime!
43: ROAD TRIP!!! | Got our Vibrams and our Giddy-up hats--READY TO RIDE!!!
44: A Snapshot of our Journey (from my twitter feed)
45: ***It's a real shame I can't include the videos of Jody dancing and singing Michael Jackson et. al. while driving and also our lengthy interaction with a DJ in NY. ;-)
46: We couldn't pass this gorgeous field in KY without getting a picture. | This was such a fun adventure to share with my BFF sister JoJo!
47: Then we spent some time in Mammoth Caves | After a few adventures in OH, it was on to Pennsylvania and New York
49: Our favorite stop along the way was Niagara Falls
50: And then we finally arrived in Vermont, where Jo enjoyed exploring our new world. . .
51: . . .while I went promptly to work at my new job
52: Macy and Grace were excited to present me with the surprises they had picked up for me.
53: But they were especially proud of the quilt they had made for me with the help of a couple of sweet ladies from our church (Deitra Davis and Virginia Parker). What a treasure!
54: Knowing that a life of ministry would mean our time is not really our own, Jared and I wanted to establish a habit of deliberately spending quality time together, so we decided to do "day dates" at least once or twice each month. Just a short little getaway while the girls are in school away from the phones and computers. | I fully expected Bilbo Baggins to come wandering out of that door at any moment.
55: The very first place we went on one of our "day dates" was a beautiful little town about 45 minutes away called Woodstock, VT. There isn't that much to it (which is one of the reasons we like it so much), but it is very peaceful and beautiful with gorgeous architecture and scenery and lots of places to be still and take deep breaths.
56: Curls | Sometimes a girl just needs a new 'do
57: Bangs | Bangs
58: Macy was on the train float that she helped build in her Odyssey of the Mind after school program, and Gracie got to ride on the Historical Society float. | Memorial Day Weekend
59: There is something about the Memorial Day Parade and Celebration in Middletown Springs that makes me adore living in small town America. It's so simple and sweet and respectful. And I love that so many of the kids get to be involved. I hope we never have to leave this place. | And Gracie got first place for her poster. | Macy won second place for her essay. (And her best friend got first place, so she was quite pleased with second. ;-) | I love our sweet church.
60: Sweet, Sweet Girls. They make everything about my life better. More fun. More adventure. More laughter. More love. | Sisters
62: Niagara Falls, NY | Since the Maywalds were passing through Niagara Falls on their way to Vermont, and it was one of Dad's "bucket list"retirement adventures, we thought it would be fun to fly Mom and Dad straight to Buffalo so that my family could intercept them there and then bring them back to Vermont for awhile. It was so much fun to experience Niagara with such a big group of family.
63: My tiny little nephew, Josh | Maid of the Mist was so much fun. It took us right into the Horseshoe Falls. The kids thought it was so much fun to get all wet, and the adults were stunned by the beauty and power of the falls.
64: Cave of the Winds--We got to climb right up to the base of the falls. There were several tiers, and of course, the higher we climbed, the more DRENCHED we got. It's impossible to describe the sounds of the massive amounts of water crashing over the edge of the falls. Such an incredible experience!
66: "Families are like fudge ... mostly sweet with a few nuts."
67: MAKING MEMORIES
68: We stayed very busy all summer with all sorts of new adventures. | But some of our favorite days were the ones we spent at home doing simple things.
69: and flying kites | like making crafts | and enjoying nature right in our back yard.
70: One day on our way back from a hike up the mountain, Jared and I noticed a puddle full of hundreds of little tadpoles. Knowing that the puddle wouldn't last very long, I came back home to look up what it would take to "save" some of them and give the girls a chance to see the tadpole to frog metamorphosis. I mean, they typically hatch in a pond and are left to fend for themselves, right? Couldn't be too involved. . . . . Turns out there isn't much to it, but I'm glad I looked it up, because the one major issue is that you can't put them in tap water. From what I read, the chlorine and/or other mineral deposits in tap water would pretty much kill them immediately. So after reading that, I decided we should wait until we could purchase a little plastic tub and hike back up the mountain for some fresh mountain water. We did so the very next day, but we had to go straight to Macy and Grace's school to pick them up rather than stopping to check on the puddles like we had originally planned. I was a little nervous that Macy and Grace would be devastated if everything had dried up, but you can't get much past them, so I had to tell them what I was up to when I headed back to check on our new little friends as soon as we got home. Fortunately, we were just in time. When Macy and Grace saw the little tadpoles in their shrinking, muddying, disappearing habitat, they didn't waste a single second on their rescue mission. While I ran to get the tub, they went to work collecting water from a nearby stream to pour into the puddle (both in new shoes). By the time I got back to them (less than 5 minutes later), most of the mud had found its way from the puddle onto the girls, but they were NOT joking around about their mission, and hundreds of little tadpoles were happily swimming again in fresh, cool water. Grace informed me that she was really sorry she got her new shoes so dirty, but it was an emergency! Little does she know that Mommy is smart enough to buy machine washable shoes for her little adventurers. :-D
71: "We have to save the frogs!!!"
72: In August, our sweet friends Ed and Amelia Nizynski, whom we hadn't seen since Grace was an infant, came to visit for a few days. It was so good to spend some time with them! Someone had suggested to them that they should visit the Shelburne Museum since it is so close to where we live, and since we had not been yet either, we were excited to visit. What a treat! It is a fascinating place! It consists of 39 different buildings/exhibits which span over 300 years of architecture. They include houses, barns, a jail, a schoolhouse, a general store, a traincar, the Ticonderoga steamboat, stagecoaches and several other attractions. Each of these were transported to Shelburne from surrounding areas by the museum's founder, Electra Havemeyer, so that she could preserve them as monuments and testimonies to life in Vermont. Quite faxinating!
73: There was a temporary exhibit of quilts made my quilters whose families had been affected by Alzheimer's. It was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
74: Apple Picking
75: At the end of September, two of our favorite people in the whole wide world came to visit--David and Sarah McLemore. Almost as soon as we picked them up from the airport, we swung by the school to pick up Macy and Grace and headed to Mad Tom's Orchard to pick some apples. It was a great way to kick off our time together.
76: A couple days after David and Sarah arrived, Tyrone "Pumbaa" Arnold joined us too! SO FUN!!! Since we were in NY to pick him up at the airport, we decided to go to the Balloon Festival in Saratoga, NY. It was too windy for the balloons to take off, but we still had so much fun just being together, and we got to see lots of cool kites while waiting for the balloons to NOT launch. ;-)
77: just like
78: Woodstock, VT
79: We took them to one of our favorite little "typical New England" towns where everything looks pretty much like a movie set--especially in the fall.
80: Pastor Appreciation Month On the first day of October, one of our church members (Annisa Lamberton) "warned" us that we should expect lots of visitors and "treats" during October, since it is Pastor Appreciation Month. I should have remembered this from my days at LifeWay, but honestly it hadn't even occurred to me, and Jared didn't know anything about it. And even if either of us had been aware of it, we could never have expected what our church had in mind for us. Let me just say that these people should give lessons on how to appreciate. ;-) We were completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and "appreciation." Almost every single day of the month of October brought some kind of treat, gift, service, etc. We were blessed with everything from prepared meals, snacks and treats of all kinds to a freezer full of home-grown beef to gift cards for meals out (and accompanying offers to babysit when those gift cards were used.) We got a bag full of tulip bulbs, which was perfect since we had not had much time to "pretty up" the yard. We got them just in time to get them into the ground before winter so that we could watch them bloom in the spring. AND sweet Ms. Sheri Ross even gave me a sewing machine and a lifetime supply of thread and promised to teach me how to use it! It was such a sweet and special month, especially because we got to visit with so many people as they delivered their goodies. It was so much fun. And the "Most Creative Appreciater" award goes to Rita Hansen for the Wilson Pumpkin Head Family pictured to the right. She left this on our doorstep one evening while we were out, and we laughed about it all month long (and still do every time we see the picture.) We LOVE our church!
82: Jared had a speaking engagement in White River Junction in October. It's only a little over an hour away from where we live, but rather than have to make that drive early on Sunday morning, we decided to drive up the day before and spend some time in Quechee. I'm so glad we did! It was just gorgeous, and it turned out to be a nice little getaway for our family. | Quechee Gorge--October 2010
85: JoJo and Uncle Jon and their whole crew came to visit at the end of October and stayed for a whole week! We had so much fun!!!
86: The first (full) day the Dickersons were with us, we took them over to Ms. Deitra's place where she introduced them to a true Vemont kind of day. They ran around on her farm, played with her sweet little miniature horses and her gorgeous dog Flurry, and even got to ride on her tractor and work the backhoe. Then she treated them all to a tour of her amazing house/museum followed by cheese and crackers (Vermont cheddar of course), cupcakes, and hot chocolate. It was a very sweet and special day and such a unique experience for the kids.
88: Macy and Grace got to wear their costumes during a school parade on the Friday before Halloween. | Curious George and Pippi Longstocking
89: It was on the same day they were surprised by their cousin Peyton joining us in Vermont for a few days. They were SO HAPPY to see her.
90: We loved Quechee so much, we couldn't wait to take our company on the same adventure we had been on the weekend before. Jack had been talking about "climbing a mountain and seeing a waterfall" since the moment they arrived, and this was the perfect place to do it for sure. FUN!
92: On the last afternoon of the Dickersons' visit (and Peyty), we got the most beautiful, fluffy snow for them to play in. They were all so excited! (This doesn't happen very often in Texas. ;-)
94: Rock Climbing 10-31-10
96: About 6 months after I moved to Vermont, we decided it was time for the rest of our belongings to finally come home too. We were ready to sleep in our own bed and watch football from our big, comfy couch. On Nov. 3, Jared and our friends Dale Carr, Jeff Miserocchi and Dan McKeen headed for Nashville, and I woke up to this incredible sunrise. It was a very promising day indeed.
97: We were so blessed with so much help throughout the entire experience. Dale, Jeff and Dan flew to Nashville with Jared to pack and load the truck with everything we had left in the house, and several of our friends from Nashville met them there to help. Then Dale and Jeff shared the driving responsibilities all the way home to Vermont (about 24 hours) so Jared could get some rest since he had to preach the next morning. . . . | . . .and Grace led them all the way home.
98: Thanksgiving 2010 | We decided just to have some "snacks" for lunch. . . | . . .because we knew we were having ALL OF THIS for dinner. YUMMY!
99: And then we got the house all decorated and relaxed in the Christmas lights with our dessert and coffee.