Sunday, June 29, 2008

Moving Day Eve

The movers are scheduled to come tomorrow morning - I can't believe it is finally here! We had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and lots of good time to enjoy all that God has blessed us with here. Here are a couple of typical scenes during the season of packing here:

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic as I prepare to once again leave my hometown. Here are just a few of the things that make Granbury special (in no particular order):

(sorry - no picture) - Papa Ray & Grammie's house. Free babysitting, need I say more?! Better than cable! And always had snacks!!

Jen's mobile party unit. Without a doubt, when the silver sequoia was there, you knew there would be a party! Always kid friendly and ready for any minor emergency!!

Brawner Intermediate School, aka StoneWater Church! I'm still amazed at the transformation that we make weekly. I'm more amazed when I think about the transformation done in people's lives each week that can't be seen - thanks to the ministry done through the members and leaders there. Sounds cheesy and churchy, but it is 100% true. Happened to me!

Best chicken enchiladas in town are at Mi Familia! Great sopapillas too!

One of our first things we did after we moved to Granbury was attend a StoneWater service at the Driftwood Theater. I vividly remember meeting people in the lobby and talking with Jeremy and Joey on the front steps. We also met here before we left on a 10 day mission trip to Mexico.

Kid friendly and FREE - the Hood County Library. Daniel and Anna LOVE this place! They even have Captain Underpants and Backyardigans books here!

During the week, the magic happens here at the church office! I still remember getting nervous and excited for my very first staff meeting, which was then held at Jeremy's house. We graduated to our first office within a year and outgrew that one quickly (my office was also the break room). We moved into our current location, after a quick cosmetic makeover (thanks Heather!), and have loved our wonderful space. My kids enjoyed this place too! Daniel has discovered he shares his daddy's love for the white board!

This place is a God-send! A grocery store INSIDE our housing development! The prices were a little higher and the selection was a bit limited , but the service was unbeatable. The checker would see me coming with 2 kids and a basket full of food and call for carry out! And they really did bag all my stuff and carry it to the car for me. Small town luxury, for sure! Don't you love the golf cart, too? :)

Last but not least, one of the best things to hit Granbury is Starbucks! You'll notice the lights are off and the furniture is chained up. My dear accountability partners and I saw this scene too many times!! Lots of fun and meaningful conversations were had in and around this place. :)

Firehouse fun

We had a blast today at one of our favorite playgroups - the Pecan Firehouse. This year's tour was cut short, but the kids had a great time exploring the trucks and looking around the fire house.
Our dear friends the Sprayberrys were there. I couldn't resist the picture with Daniel and the twins - priceless!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

trip to fossil rim

Mom & Dad took the kids to Fossil Rim on Friday while Dave & I packed. They had a BLAST! If you've never been, you should make plans. It is an awesome experience and is just outside of Granbury in Glen Rose.

Daniel feeds a deer

Anna checks out the aoudad sheep

The kids loved the petting zoo

Anna did NOT like the ostrich, who was VERY hungry and came right up to the windows. I have to admit, I don't blame her! They are a bit scary!! Traffic jam

giraffes weren't very hungry, but at least made an appearance

Making progress

We are definitely making progress here at the Barrett homestead. Half of the garage is filled with boxes of our stuff. Who knew we had SO MUCH STUFF?!! We sent a truckload of stuff to a yard sale today and we have other plans for another pickup truckload. :) Kids seem to be handling everything well. We have packed up about half of their stuff, so there is definitely still stuff to play with!

Huge thanks to mom and dad for watching kids for us during the past couple of days! We made tons of progress during their retreat to Stewart World. (Watch for my posting on their trip to Fossil Rim!).

We are set to close on our Austin house next Friday and will move stuff the following week. Not much action on our house here; the market is definitely not working in our favor! But we are confident that everything will work out - God has wonderful plans for us and will take care of it all (in His time). We sold our Richardson home in 8 days, so our current situation seems like an eternity! Quick lesson learned: don't use the self cleaning cycle on your oven when you KNOW there are people coming to look at the house! We definitely had an interesting smell going on today. :) DUH.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue through this crazy time. This whole turn of events has really taken us by surprise. God has blessed us with so much here in Granbury in just a short time; we were definitely not LOOKING to leave after only 2 years in our country home. We will always have a strong connection with all of our wonderful friends here! I'm still blown away when all that God has done in the short time we have been here.

However, I seem to have more peace about what lies ahead. When God calls you to something new, even things that are not easy, we are crazy to not follow Him! Experiencing swim lessons with Daniel have helped illustrate that for me. I knew that Daniel had it in him to swim. He had to work really hard to overcome his fears and trust that his teacher would guide him through each lesson. In the end, he could swim and (more importantly) had conquered something huge, and gained confidence to do more in the future. I wouldn't trade that experience for him for anything! Of course I wanted to pull him out of the water when he was frustrated or upset. But his teacher knew what he could do, and patiently worked with him through it. How much more does God care for us?! He knows what He can do through us - we just have to trust and be patient for His guidance and grace!!

So, watch out, Austin - we are on a mission!! :)

Watch out Nemo!

If you told me this would have happened, I would not have believed you! After 5 days of 30 minute of private swimming lessons, here is a video of Daniel that is just amazing!

Thanks, Mrs. Judy, for a wonderful week! It was definitely a challenge for Daniel, but he worked hard and learned like crazy!!! At the beginning of the week, he would doggy paddle but would not even put his face in the water. Unbelievable!

Monday, June 9, 2008

to my blogging friends

Just want to give a big shout out to all of my blogging friends out there! I absolutely love to catch up on you & your world when I have a late-night-laptop moment or two!!! I love to read about your lives and see where God has you. I have known many of you for several years and love to see the changes we have all been through - from new haircuts to new babies to new adventures!

I had a wonderful week last week. I spent Tuesday night in Dallas catching up with a wonderful group of women who were my Bible study partners when I first moved to Dallas from College Station. Definitely lots of changes in the past 10 years! I'll probably get this wrong, but we have collectively had 16 babies (2 Barretts, 2 Colbys, 3 Woodards, 3 Lesserts, 3 Woods, 2 Rapps, and 1 Williams) - two of which are still on the way!! We've probably moved at least that many times - we all started fairly central and are now all over the place! We don't get to meet very often, but when we do, we take turns giving the updates and asking the questions that only your close girlfriends can ask! It was so encouraging to hear the changes from the last time we met back in October. It was a great challenge for me to attempt to sum up my life in 3 minutes or less - and hear it viewed from the eyes of Godly women who are not quite so emotionally tied to every detail. They were so excited for our move to Austin (see previous entry if this is news to you) and very encouraging about everything. The entire evening just reinforced the fact that God is always working and has great plans for us. And even though we may sometimes struggle, we can always look back to see His faithfulness.

Dave & I had dinner on Wednesday with our dear friends, Michael and Kelly, just before they moved with their 2 boys to Colorado Springs! We have loved keeping up with them after we left Dallas 2 years ago, and look forward to continuing our relationship!! We had a wonderful dinner and got to talk lots about the many emotions that come with moving. It's never easy to give up what you know and love, everything that is familiar, for things that are different, weird, and crazy! Of course, the alternative (ie telling God "no thanks") seems much more depressing and scary. The transition also shines a light on everything - including things we may be holding onto too tightly. Hmmmm....

So the two evenings, combined with my willingness to face my fears and talk with Dave about everything and then pray over the situation, seemed to be wonderful therapy for me. Don't get me wrong - my eyes still well up with tears when I talk with friends about leaving, when I worship at my wonderful church, when I realize that I will no longer be down the street from world-class (and free) babysitters, and when I sit in my Birthday swing (read that carefully - not my birthday suit!) in my backyard. But the deep-down part of me is now preparing and anticipating the things that are to come.

I can't NOT mention my weekend. My brave friend Jen spoke to our youth girls Friday night about s-e-x and I got to tag along for prayer and moral support. I was so proud of my sweet friend for being real, encouraging, and keeping it holy with the girls there! We had a great Q&A time with the girls and then Jen & I left and celebrated with a quick late-night trip to Sonic. :) I also got to serve my feet off at our Mother Daughter Tea on Sunday afternoon - after hearing my awesome husband deliver an equally awesome message at church on Sunday. This same, remarkable husband also helped load and unload tables and chairs for the tea party after his marathon morning - a true servant. It felt so good to be involved in ministry - talking and sharing with God's beautiful women was a great blessing to me!!

So, to sum up, I'm excited about where I've been, excited about what's going on now, and excited about what's ahead. It's a weird kind of emotional-yet-peaceful excited; it seems to come packed with unexpected and uncontrolled tears and then eventually laughter. But it's undeniably excitement...


I must say, I am impressed at the creative vocabulary (in a good way) of my 3 year old daughter! She frequently comes up with her own words and/or phrase and usually links a game to it (wee-whoa is a game where you bop yourself on the head, say "wee-whoa" and laugh like crazy).

Here's her newest phrase, which comes with its own song. So, if you were wondering what you should say if you accidentally pass gas in front of someone, here it is:

In case you need the translation, she said "mash-ba-fee-duh-non-a-bo" :). Priceless!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a birthday!

WOW! We had such a fun day celebrating Daniel and the big number 5! We had his party at Gym Kats in Granbury, a gymnastics center complete with 4 super-bouncy trampolines and a foam block pit with a rope swing and climbing ladder. We were thrilled to have so many of our wonderful friends come to celebrate with us! We even had special appearances by Mimi & PawPaw (all the way from Plano) and my college roomie Sarah and her two sweet boys Tate and Everett (all the way from Temple)!!!

Daniel is into cars - big time! Here's his cake:

Kid magnet: the foam pit! It eats your socks and is SUPER deep!!

Madison and Anna have a jump together

Dale & Andy show no fear as they scale the net!

My friend Sarah and sweet son Everett!