Thursday, April 14, 2016

Family Camp 2016

We have been traveling to a family camp near Talladega, Alabama for 4 years now. We go with Auburn UMC to Shocco Springs where Rob leads worship and the kids and I soak in the warmth and fellowship of the wonderful members of that church.

This year we also went to a family camp held by our church here in Texas. We attended mainly because I am on staff in the education department at our church so it was required that I go. Life sure is tough sometimes. You know you have it good when a job requirement of yours is to help plan a weekend retreat and then attend with your family. Somebody has gotta do it, I guess.

Rob was also asked to lead worship at this retreat. I guess he's good at that kind of stuff. I just mainly put together welcome bags and s'more packets. To each his own. Here are a few a ton of pictures from our wonderful weekend at Pine Cove Camp in Tyler, Texas. And it really was a wonderful weekend. One of our best ever.

Driving into camp we were met by this fun banner. 

We had to set up and get ready for all of the impending arivals so the first picture I got was that night while Rob was leading worship. Night 1 and Lainey was already over it. It had been a very long day for the bugaboo.

But she definitely perked up once we headed over to the campfire and got to eat s'mores and sing campfire songs with Daddy. 

Hanging out with the fabulous kids of Custer Road UMC.

Bennett and her friend Hannah heading to breakfast the next morning.

It was so lovely to spend a weekend surrounded by water and huge Pine Trees. I was in heaven. Who knew Texas could look like this? It almost felt like I was back home.
Ready for a wonderful day at Pine Cove family camp.


After our morning sessions our kids headed off to ride ponies. This was Lainey's very first time riding a horse. We had tried before but she always chickened out. I think both Bennett and Will had ridden 10 horses by the time they were 3 1/2, bur it takes Lainey a little bit longer to warm up to things.

All of the Custer Road kids performing their Superman prayer song before lunch.

After lunch we all got to go down the zip line. Well, all of us except our youngest family member. Here are Rob and Will heading down. 

I absolutely love this picture.

And here are me and Bennett. This was definitely a core memory I will never forget standing on top of that tower and looking over at B as we counted down and then jumping off together. Such a fun thing for us to do together.

And the party never stops. Later that afternoon we all participated in a large shaving cream fight.

You know what they say. The family that throws shaving cream together, stays together.

 Our family camp theme this year was "Team." After we scrubbed shaving cream out of every single pore, we decorated T-shirts and came up with a team name for our family. Ours was extremely easy. We called ourselves, "The Red Webs" of course.

I cannot thank God enough for giving me this team.

 Our Custer Road UMC family.

Blowing bubbles before evening worship.

 Hanging out with my sweet girlfriends. I am so thankful for new friends who have been absolute lifesavers in every city we have moved to.

Our final morning at camp. Grateful for the sunshine!

 Enjoying one last canoe ride around the lake.

 Oh, how I love these people. And I cannot say how thrilled I am that they are mine.

And that was a wrap. Already counting down the days until next year.

Psalm 103:17
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children

Monday, April 4, 2016

Life lately

Whew! There is so much to catch up on that I don't even know where to begin. It seems that I only blog about huge events these days and I am missing just the day to day normal stuff that make up our lives.

Bennett now ready my blog books constantly and absolutely loves hearing all of the stories that I used to write. I am grateful for them, because let's be honest, I can't remember anything. It also makes me sad for Lainey because that kid is flat out hysterical and I am not recording any of it.

So, here is a small attempt to catch up on what we've been up to.

Will is starting to love soccer more and more. He isn't someone that took to it naturally but after 6 seasons now, he is beginning to practice on his own more and asking if he and Rob can go to the park to work on his soccer skills. Of course, Coach Rob is the best soccer coach ever and I am so happy that they get to do this together. Go, Cougars!

Lainey starting taking gymnastics with her older siblings. You would have thought she had dies and gone to heaven. She loves it so much. And I love having an activity that all three of them can do together. That is rare with different genders and ages. Seeing the three of them constantly wave to each other from different corners of the gym is so sweet, 

Oh, and Lainey had her first haircut!!! I think I had a whole blog post about Bennett's first haircut and sweet Lainey's is getting stuck in the middle of this one three months after the fact, but of, well. At least it is up. Here you go, Lainey. We cut your hair. Hooray!

Oh, and did I mention that ALABAMA WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR????? Well, we did! And the playoff game was played in Dallas so who do you think got tickets as soon as we could? Us, of course. The day before the game we went down to Klyde Warren Park to meet the Alabama cheerleaders and watch the Battle of the Bands.

I was beaming like crazy for about 5 hours. I don't even know who this guy is. He is somehow connected to the University and the band so therefore I must pose with him.

Yes!! My children's first picture with Big Al!!
That's Big Al crouched down trying to talk to Lainey in her stroller and that child wouldn't even look at Big Al. Wouldn't even turn her head and glance at him. Typical.

Teaching 'em young. Roll Tide, kids!
Here we are the next night on our way to the Cotton Bowl!! 


In our seats waiting for the game to begin.

I have never been to a championship game in my life so I was barely able to contain myself. I was so stinkin' excited.

And we won!! No, we dominated! 38-0!! Total shut out in the College Football Playoff.

And then we went on to defeat Clemson and win the whole thing. National Champs, baby. The dynasty continues.

Okay, moving on from football. it's hard for me to do it, but I will try. Will won the Star Student award at school. Bennett won as well just a few weeks before Will. I am so proud of these amazing kids.

Here we are on another Webster road trip. We headed back to Alabama the first weekend in February for Auburn UMC's family camp.

Of course we stopped in Birmingham to see my family. Isn't my niece gorgeous?

Here is Bennett helping Rob get ready to lead worship.

Saturday afternoon hike in the woods with my favorites. This is our 4th year now attending this family camp and we feel so honored that Auburn UMC keeps asking us back. It is such a joy and an honor to be able to attend this weekend with such a wonderful group of people.

Ms. Gibbs has been loving on this sweet boy and his party hat since he was 3 years old.

We stopped again in Birmingham on our way home so we could see my family. Daddy Suttle got to watch the Superbowl with his youngest granddaughter.

We tried to get a picture of the 6 grandchildren, but Lainey wanted no part of it. This was the best that I could do.

As we drove back to Texas we stopped at the University of Alabama to let the kids see the greatest football stadium in the history of ever. No exaggeration.

With Nick Saban's statue. A must see, of course.

And the Bear's. Perhaps even more of a must see.

Even Meg wanted to see Brant-Denny stadium. Smart girl.

We spent  a lovely January day at the Dallas zoo. I know Rob has a ton of pictures somewhere, but this was the only one on my phone so it will have to do.
More gymnastics fun. I love this picture of the three of them walking in together.
And I definitely couldn't resist these three faces grinning at me from the window. I may need to frame this one.

Bennett flipping on the bars. Look at her go!

Will getting ready for his dance at school. He was in the German dance as if you couldn't tell.

Will and his crew.
And I did a blog post about Bennett's birthday party, but here are a few pictures of her on her actual birthday. Waking up to custom donuts in the morning is the best!

Opening presents after school.

And then we headed downtown to the Omni hotel for a night. Here is the view from our room. It was so much fun.

Dinner at Grimaldi's in downtown Dallas.

And then late night swimming in the rooftop pool overlooking the city. Is there anything better? I mean, seriously.
Best. Birthday. Ever.

Just laying in bed eating cookies and milk delivered to the room and looking at the skyline. No big deal.

Will and Rob had to leave for a soccer game the next morning so we had a girls morning at Klyde Warren Park.

And then lunch at the American Girl restaurant.

Lainey got to borrow a doll and I didn't think she was going to give it back.
Shopping with my girls. How blessed am I for even being able to write that. I cannot express how lucky I feel on a daily basis that I get to be the Mom of these three children.

Will was so excited about April Fool's Day this year and he couldn't wait to pull a prank on the family.
However, the joke was on him when I made him clean it up after school.

Bennett is really loving ballet these days ad she loves to dress up her American Girl doll as a ballerina and take her with her to ballet. She stays in the car, of course. The doll. Not Bennett.

And Lainey has gotten to where she insists on dressing up like Bennett and going to ballet with her.

 And then she spends the whole hour staring at the older girls through the window and she tries to imitate their moves. This picture kills me. I was laughing so hard that I could barely take the shot.

Is there anything more precious?

And finally, to wrap this whole thing up, we absolutely love the street we live. Our kids closest friends live on our street and they all hang out from the second the bell rings until the sun goes down at night. I think that's how it should be. Here is a random Friday night camp put in our back yard.

And a typical post school bike ride up and down our street. I adore these kiddos.
And I think that's it for now. Our family is just trucking along. Rob and I both love what we are doing in our respective ministry areas. Will is racking first grade and was just recently placed into the GT program for next year due to his awesome COGAT scores. Beyond his intelligence, he is incredibly kind and loving. Bennett has recently really taking to tumbling and is out on our trampoline day and night practicing round offs and aerials. That kid has creativity oozing out of every pore and is always dancing, drawing, writing or just creating something. And Lainey bug keeps us all in stitches by trying to tell jokes and creating fake names for herself. Currently she wants us to call her "Peestas." Don't ask. And she just laughs and laughs at everybody and tries to keep up with her siblings.
With Bennett now reading my blog books nearly every day. I am committed to blogging more and capturing these awesome stages in their lives. Well, that's my goal at least.