Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our fun weekend

I didn't know how this weekend was going to turn out because there were so many unknowns going into it. But God gave us a super gift in the way He made it work out. Laney & Bodie were invited to spend the weekend celebrating cousin Tara's 4th birthday in Austin, so Brian & I were able to spend the entire weekend with our two big girls. We drove up to The Woodlands for the KSBJ 30th anniversary concert. We listen to KSBJ most of the time we're in the car so we know a lot of the songs they play. We especially love Switchfoot, so we were excited to get to see them live.
 When we got there, the lawn was completely packed. We found a spot for our quilt about 20 feet from the back fence. We couldn't see the bands. We couldn't even see the stage. But we could hear the music. The concert started at 5pm with the opening bands, For King and Country, Chris August, and Family Force Five. We knew our favorites would be much later that night. So we just started rolling around and wrestling on our quilt.

 I looked up and a man knelt down next to me with a microphone. He said he was Sterling from KSBJ and asked our names. Then he asked us where we were sitting. I didn't catch on to what was going on, but Brian said "we're sitting in the very back of the lawn!" Then Sterling said "how would you like to move up to the KSBJ luxury box seats?" We couldn't believe this was happening to us! It felt surreal as we folded up our quilt and took our kids ALL the way through the lawn to the front of the concert. The girls had no idea what was going on. In fact, I think they were pretty disappointed we had to leave the lawn. :)
P.S. We are on the radio right now!!! If you listen to KSBJ, when you hear their recap of the concert, listen for when you hear a DJ say "how would you like luxury box seats?" Then you will my voice and Brian's voice saying "Thank you so much KSBJ, We love you KSBJ, etc etc." It's weird but fun to hear our voices on the radio every day now!!!
Here we are in our luxury box seats. We had a waiter that came by and offered us a menu. We saw several people walk by that made us feel like we were definitely out of our league. But we were so excited!!!
 From these seats we got to see Francesca Batestelli. She was so beautiful and I loved hearing her talk about her life and how God had showed her His love. Her husband is her drummer. She was wonderful! Then there was a surprise guest - Amy Grant! She started with "Baby, Baby" then "Sing Your praise to the Lord." The girls had a hard time understanding that she was one of my favorite singers when I was about their age! Tatum just asked me today how old Amy Grant is if she was one of my favorites when I was little. I told her that is a very good question.
We were so excited when Switchfoot came out. We loved hearing "Your Love is a Song," "Mess of Me" and "Dark Horses." The girls caught on pretty quick - they were singing at the top of their lungs and having such a great time. They sang a lot of their oldies too. Then during "Restless," the lead singer started walking out in the audience right toward us! Then he stopped right in front of our section. He sang the whole song right there. We could've reached out and touched him! So here's our buddy John Foreman...
After Switchfoot, there was another surprise guest - Steven Curtis Chapman! He sang "Divin' In" and "Cinderella" then he said he was going to try a new song on us (all 16,000 of us) that he had never tried before in front of people. He butchered it! Then he broke a string on his guitar! But he was so funny. We love him!
Then there was an awesome preacher, Jeff Bethke, who gave a great message about how church is supposed to be the huddle, not the game. Then Mercy Me came out to finish the night. When the concert was finally over a little after 11pm, both girls were out cold. Brian & I were still in awe of how God had blessed us! We loved every minute of it!
It was a wonderful way to celebrate our big girls' birthdays. We also got to stay at a beautiful resort in The Woodlands, play in the water park, collect shells from the pond there and eat some great food. It was such a memorable weekend.
A few more photos from recently... Avery's Leonardo Ninja Turtle that she wanted so bad for her birthday. Now she has all four turtles. She doesn't really play with them, she just uses them as decorations on her dresser. She thinks they are cute.
Avery and Tatum both learned to ride without training wheels over this past winter. They have spent many fun afternoons riding their bikes on the greenbelt behind our house. Avery's old bike had a chain and a pedal that were always falling off. So we were excited for her to have her own new bike!
Here's Bodie and Matthew in their sweet Mother's Day shirts.
 And here's my Laney on Muffins with Mom day at preschool.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Tatum will be 6 in a little over a week!
Laney is 4 going on 16
These kids are growing up too fast! It seems like just yesterday we were setting up baby Avery on that same blanket in that same field to take her picture with the bluebonnets. Now she's 8 and God has blessed us with three more!
My big 8 year old!
When you ask Bo how old he is, he says "I'm four." I try to correct him and tell him he is 2, but he won't have it. He insists he is 4. I have so many stories about him I don't know where to start. So for now, I'll just say, he wears one piece pajamas with the hidden zipper to bed every night for a reason.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A few random photos

This baby squirrel was our pet for about 24 hours. We saw her playing on our driveway and she came right up to us and let us hold her. We named her Sadie the squirrel. I researched a little about how to take care of baby squirrels and all the research said the best thing we could do for her is to help her find her mama. So we kept her one night, fed her pedialyte from a medicine syringe and soft grapes, which was so cute. She was thirsty! The next morning we set her on a towel on a flat place in a tree and let her call for her mama. She did call and eventually her mama came. She was the sweetest thing and we still think we see Sadie every time a squirrel walks by our driveway.

One of these things is not like the others...
We took the kids to the Aggie softball game a few weekends ago. Since Avery & Tatum are playing again this spring, they really enjoyed watching the college girls play. They are both fascinated with how to bunt. They were having so much fun, it turned silly pretty quick.

This was right before Laney's spring preschool program. She mostly stared at the other kids during the program, but she did sing a few songs and she sure did look cute!

Here is our annual Easter picture, we were all so hungry and ready to eat lunch, but I wanted to get a photo first or else there would be pizza sauce all over the younger two. So they were working hard to smile big and get it right the first time. Hence the huge cheesy grins.
We did see some beautiful bluebonnets on our way out to College Station a few weeks ago. More bluebonnet photos to come...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Driving Anxiety

I have no cute stories or pictures today... just some thoughts on my driving anxiety.

It first hit me when I was pregnant with Bodie. I was driving down 290 and all the sudden I felt PANIC... my heart was pounding, I felt light-headed and I could hardly breathe. I thought I would go unconscious and drive off the highway and die. Since I was pregnant at the time, I told my doctor about this experience and he sent me to see a cardiologist. The cardiologist made me wear a heart monitor for 24 hours to see if he could record one of these heart pounding panic attacks. I didn't know at the time it was related to driving... that thought never crossed my mind, or else I would have driven down the highway with the heart monitor on and I'm sure it would've happened again. Anyway, nothing happened so I got a clean bill of heart health and was left to wonder what was wrong with me.

It didn't happen again for several months. Then it happened again as I was pulling out of our neighborhood onto a fast, busy road. The same panic... can't breathe, heart pounding, light-headed, eyes blurry and feeling like i'm going to pass out. I panicked and pulled off into another neighborhood where I could drive really slow. I weaved my way back home and gave up on running any errands until Brian could drive me. When I got home, I googled "panic attack while driving" and the results assured me this was what I had. I tried some of the suggestions given, such as counting backwards from a very high number, so that your mind is busy and can't be afraid. So I would count out loud while driving "796, 795, 794, 793" etc. You can imagine how strange my kids thought I was.

Anyway, the panic attacks started happening almost every time I was on a highway or going faster than 35 mph. I would have to pull over and try to reason with myself... "I know how to drive. I have been doing this since I was fifteen. What is wrong with me?" I started saying No to things I knew I couldn't drive to. Some trips took me twice as long as they should have because I would stay on the access roads the whole way. My sweet Brian went out of his way to be available to drive if we needed to go somewhere that involved the highway.

I started to sense it was a spiritual thing, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why I was being attacked in this way. How strange to be afraid to drive.

I asked God why and prayed for Him to help me get over this fear. He reminded me of when Paul asked God three times to remove the thorn in his flesh, and each time God said, "My grace is sufficient for you. For My power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9) So maybe this is my thorn. It is humbling to have such a weakness.

I am not writing this from a place of victory. I am writing this from a place of struggle. However, I do know the truth. I have learned that much of my anxiety (not just driving, but with any fear I have) is because I AM TOO IMPORTANT TO MYSELF. That is the sickness I suffer from.

Tonight as I drove down 290 (because being at Beth Moore was worth it), I prayed again. Instead of fearfully begging God, "please keep me safe. please help me not to pass out." I prayed, "God I know I'm important to You, but help me not be so important to myself." My shoulders relaxed and I felt His pleasure. It still wasn't easy driving down the highway, but the struggle was manageable because I knew the truth.

"Hallelujah, we are free to struggle. We're not struggling to be free. Your blood bought and makes us children. Children, drop your chains and sing." Tenth Avenue North - the struggle

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Laney's 4th Birthday

Tomorrow is the actual day, but we've been celebrating all week. We started with her very first haircut.

 She loves her new cut. We loved her beautiful long hair, but were ready for a change. We are enjoying how easy it is to wash and brush, and I'm having fun doing lots of cute short hair hairstyles with her. Like cute pigtails!

We met our friend Hallie at the park and had cupcakes with her, since she was going away the night of Laney's party.
 Laney really wanted a slumber party for her 4th birthday. It just so happened our church was having a preschool fun night the same night as her party, so we loaded up our crew as well as cousin Tara and friends Rylin & Selah and had a blast dancing and eating French fries with the GiGl team at church.

Then we came home and had a tea party, cupcakes, dress ups, karaoke, and watched movies. I was amazed only one fell asleep watching movies. The rest stayed up until 12:45AM, when I finally decided it was time to get into beds.

 To add to the excitement of the evening, Tatum lost her 4th tooth!
 This morning, we played more dress ups & painted nails. The big girls orchestrated a re-enactment of Cinderella. Then we got dressed and played on the driveway.

 This new trike was Laney's birthday present from us. She also got a new Cinderella that lights up, an Abby Cadabra tea set,, a princess memory game, and Tinkerbell movie.
We love you, sweet Laney!