Friday, August 30, 2013

:: The Last of Summer Shows ::

Last weekend, we were in Arkansas for some shows.  We'll hit the road again in early September, which is technically still summer, but once Labor Day is over my mind goes to fall.

On the way to our stop, I saw a flea market advertised for Fort Smith (which is where we were going).  The ad was for wire baskets.  I have been searching for wire baskets.  Wire baskets I've seen are overpriced.  These wire baskets were 5 for $20.  We made plans to wake up Saturday and get some.

When we got to the market, I saw a woman putting wire baskets in her car.  Then I saw another woman walking out with more!  My heart sank and I thought "everyone has bought all the wire baskets and we should've gotten up earlier and where will I fine cheap baskets again and why is life so hard?!?"

But we got to the booth and there were tons.  Praise the Lord.  We got 5 baskets and took them to the car and all was right with the world.

Aren't they beautiful?  Can't wait to use them.
(And why is this blurry?) 

The first show was in Siloam Springs, AR with the Christian Waterfowl Association International Festival.  We played last year and were asked back.  (That's always a good thing.)  And I think we've been deemed "The Official CWA Music" which is cool with us!

The CWA is an outdoor/hunting ministry.  They reach men and women who wouldn't normally walk in the door of a church.  It's such a neat thing.  I think it's remarkable just how many kinds of ministry there is.  God is creative, isn't he?  Several people came to know Christ last weekend.  AWESOME!

Being an outdoor event, everything is in tents.  This is the main tent and we were getting set up for our musical snack before dinner.  Doesn't it make you want to go to the circus?

Before we played, I tried to capture the sunset with us in the shot.  This was the result.  I think #fail would be the appropriate caption.

The next morning we played a full set before the sermon.  During sound check, we heard some whimpering.  Some whimpering that sounded like puppies.  Some whimpering that needed to be investigated.  We followed our ears and my word the cuteness.  Only $25!!!  In time, in time.

Despite being hotter than Haites, it was a fabulous morning.  Thanks to our friends Heather and Kerrie for some pics.

We left Siloam Springs and went up the road to Springdale, AR for MUDBOWL. MUDBOWL has been mentioned to us before, but we didn't know what it was.  Well, it's a youth outreach event that's been going on for 7 years.  It's for any kid in the neighborhood that wants to come.  They play games and have competitions in a giant mud puddle.  (Oh to be young.)  Then they're fed and given a word.

It's like I always say, "If you feed them and let them play in mud, they will come and then you can tell them about Jesus."

(I don't really always say that, but it makes sense.)  

And thanks to another Kerri for some pics.  (Poor Trent was in the sun.  But that meant he provided shade for me!)

Steve, the youth pastor, brought us in.  Thanks Steve!  (He's the dad of 4 girls ages 20 to 4.  Bless him.)

5 kids came to know Jesus that evening.  Such a sweet moment.  It was a great weekend and a great way to end summer.  

Now, we are looking forward to officially ending summer with a trip to Destin next week with Trent's parents. 

What are your plans for Labor Day? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Some Quality Time with Some Quality Kids

I have been an aunt for almost 12 years.  I have fed, changed diapers, wiped burgers and butts, read stories and loved on my sisters' babies with all of me.  They are precious to me.  And of course, Trent loves them, too!  While we were in Texas and then in Memphis, I soaked it all in.  Because Aunt Shellie is gonna be a momma and things are going to be a little different.  Oh how I love them so...

The Self kids came to Grammie and Paads' house for a few days.  

Caleb and Uncle Trent hitting some pitch shots.

Elliot decided she wanted an afternoon bath and have her hair blow dried and curled.  I loved it.  

Then Grammie made them root beer floats and I read them a story.  (They're fans of my attempts at silly voices.)  And I realize this is not a flattering picture of me, but I adore it.  

I don't guess Elliot remembers much of Griffin being in Julie's tummy, because she LOVES to love on Oliver.  Heart melted.

We all went to the Mayborn Museum and had some intelligent fun.  If you're ever in Waco, go.  It's a great museum.

And there's Elliot loving on Ollie again.  (I should also point out that she and Noah offered to save their money to pay for Oliver's crib.  Adorbs.)
Griffin wasn't feeling this particular picture.

We watched Duck Dynasty and then headed to Salado.

After some more family time and a quick run of shows in Arkansas, it was time to head home.  We stopped in Memphis (actually Collierville) for the night to see the Barlows.  Blake is hilarious and loves the games we come up with.  One being laying in his cool bed and making up different snores.  

He didn't have a nap that day and was a wild man!  

Here's a Blake and me conversation during a game where Trent throws a ball at him.  (Don't worry; it's completely safe.)

Blake:  "It makes me laugh so hard it makes me wet my pants!"
Me:  "Haha!  Well, how bout we take a break and go tee tee?"
Blake:  "No.  It's fine."

It made me crack up.  Plus it was after he said "school was pretty boring!" Haha!

The next morning I got up so I could ride with him and mommy to his new school.  

I can't wait for Oliver to meet his cousins.  Caleb can teach him all things sports and maybe even the trumpet.  Noah can teach him how to build amazing Lego sets and how to play any video game.  Elliot can teach him how to read, do crafts, and speak in a British accent.  Griffin can teach him how to be a sweet cuddle muffin and an irresistible mess pot.  And Blake can teach him all about trucks and pilots and trains and planes.

My heart is full.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

70 and Sensational

My mom decided to throw my dad a surprise 70th birthday party.  She did a fabulous job, considering my dad kept throwing her curve balls!  We planned our schedule accordingly to make sure we'd be there.  I love surprises!  My dad?  Not a huge fan.  Which made it even more fun.

A little back story...  we decided on August 17th for the party.  It was a day we could be there and, being 10 days prior to his actual birthday, he wouldn't suspect it.  Win-Win.  On the day my mom was planning on mailing the adorable invitations that were already in envelopes and addressed, my father told her he had to be in Austin the weekend of the 17th and 18th.  And that's when we started freaking out.  Long story short, we changed the party to Sunday (the 18th) and my mom, bless her heart, had to open the envelopes and change the date on the invites.  Not ideal, but it was what had to happen.  By doing this though, that meant my older sister couldn't make it.  (We missed you Carrie!) 

Also, my mom ended up having to go retrieve daddy from the golf course.  That way he wouldn't be late to his own party that he didn't know was happening.  Bless her heart.  It all ended up going very well, despite all the hiccups.  And everyone had fun even though the air was messing up.  In August.  In Texas.    

The birthday boy.  

The cake.  Paads Shoots 70.  Get it?

The Paads memorabilia.

The surprise!

Sweet Noah hugging on Paads.

Blurry, but I love it.  My dad saying she shouldn't have.  And my mom saying gotcha!  Adorable.


Elliot made several crafts for Paads.  She told him he couldn't throw them away.  Ha! 

Lots of belly touching from hubs and sis.

It was so fun to see old friends and family.  And I know daddy was moved (as we all were) that they came to wish him a happy day and celebrate with him.

Happy Birthday Paads!  We love you and 70 looks good on ya!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Last weekend we left Nashville and made our way to the Tulsa area.  It's about a 9 hour drive (it depends on my bladder, really.) so we decided to drive to Memphis and spend the night to break up the trip.  My sister's family just moved there and it was great to see them and see their beautiful new home!  With them being about 3 1/2 hours away, we plan on stopping quite a bit =)

Precious Blake.

Our first stop was Pryor, OK.  We were going to be playing Sunday morning, so we sound checked Saturday night.  (It helps Sunday AM not be so hectic.  And not so early.)  Pastor Dan and his wife Dannel (I know.  Adorable.) generously provided a goodie bag.  And it was like they crawled into my brain and got the best snacks for the mom-to-be!

This was our 3rd time to be at Pryor Church of the Nazarene.  They are a small church with HUGE hearts.  Seriously such sweet people.  The first time we went there, we were about to celebrate our 1st anniversary and this time, we shared about our 1st child coming.  Pretty cool how they've seen us at different times in our life.

Before we played, a young man got baptized.  Then, he proposed to his girlfriend.  Needless to say, we had to reach for the tissues.  Such a neat morning!

Thanks to Brady for taking some pictures!

Clearly, Brady and his wife Tausha, got the red & white memo that morning.  Ha!

Pastor Dan and Dannel

My mom said we look like brother and sister here.  So there's that.

We left Pryor and drove the 40 miles or so to Sand Springs (right outside of Tulsa) for an evening show with Broadway Baptist.  They were kicking off their revival week and we were excited to be a part!

Sound check in an empty church.  Lovely.

Oh my word we were blessed by these people.  We LOVE going back to churches where we've been but it's also very fun to go to new places.  And this church will definitely become a stop for us.  They are fans =)

Big thanks to Pastor Mark!

We had a great time, almost sold out of t-shirts (that's a good thing) and then had some IHOP with a few families from the church.  

We had a wonderful weekend in Pryor and Sand Springs.  We are continually reminded that God takes care of us.  We love that feeling.  Remarkable peace.

And the weekend was topped off with a lunch date with a dear friend.  Love me some Rachel!  Her little boy is due on October and he and Oliver will most certainly be long distance best buds.

Now we're enjoying some down time with family.  Soaking it all in before Oliver comes and we have to stay put in Nashville for a bit.   

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A weekend in Arizona

While we were in Hampton, GA, we received an email from a church in Tucson, Arizona, asking us if we were available the weekend of August 3-4.  We did have that weekend available but we weren't in the area, so I responded to the email saying that we would love to come, but it would have to be a fly date.  

Trent and I figured that it probably wouldn't happen (flights are expensive, if you haven't heard) and that was totally fine; we'd hit them up the next time we were in the area.  Much to our surprise, the church agreed to fly us in to do their FIVE (yes, five) weekend services.  

We booked our travel to fly out on Friday and back on Monday.  You know, so we wouldn't be rushed and we could have a leisurely time getting there.  Oh, but just you wait...

The trip started at the Nashville airport (duh) and when we were waiting to board the plane, we saw some famous people.

First, LeAnn Rimes and her husband.  (I don't know his name and I really don't feel like googling it.)  They had on sunglasses indoors because they are very fancy.  And I resisted the urge to grab a selfie with LeAnn while husband was in the bathroom.

THEN.  We saw Deacon (Charles Esten) from one of our favorite shows, Nashville.  He was with what I assume was his family (adorable wife and girls) and I'm proud to announce he was keeping it real by eating Popeyes Chicken, while sitting on the floor, with no sunglasses.  Well played, Deacon.  Well played.  

I really wanted to go up to him and make sure he didn't die in the last episode and tell him to get sober.  But, I refrained.  

So, we boarded the plane.  And I was so excited to be on my first fly date.

But then, after an hour of "a maintenance problem" that required "troubleshooting," we had to get off the plane (so did everyone else) and figure out other flight options.  Oh joy.  Delta did a great job, I will say.  We got food vouchers and merchandise vouchers.  (That meant we had a free dinner and a I bought a free book.)

Our best option option was flying out the next morning at 6 AM.  And no, I didn't bother changing clothes.

Thankfully, the flight to Arizona had no issues and we landed in Phoenix, got our rental car, and headed to Tucson. (It was cheaper to fly to Phoenix and drive to Tucson.  Go figure.)  Our car was a Prius and you should have seen us trying to figure out how to get that thing going.  Hilarious. 

*Side note:  we drove all weekend, over 200 miles or so, for about $22.  And now we are Prius believers.*

So, we drove to Tucson, got checked into the hotel, changed clothes and went straight to sound check.  After sound check, we went to the other campus to sound check and get ready for the Saturday evening service.  

All went well; everyone loved the songs we sang!  By the time we packed up and left the church and went back to the hotel for dinner, this is how we felt.

Exhausted.  Thankful, but exhausted.

The next morning was back and forth between 2 campuses and 4 services.  It flowed quite well and everything went off without a hitch.  And my word.  The congregations were so engaged and appreciative and sweet.  

We absolutely loved our time at Calvary Tucson and send a BIG THANK YOU to Paul who brought us in.

(And he also took us to eat Jordanian food, which was fabulous.)

The weekend feels kind of like a blur, but it was wonderful!  A fruitful weekend for sure and we are so thankful.