Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Venture 2017


This past weekend was Venture Weekend!! It is our Youth Ministry's Disciple Now weekend and it is a weekend that I look forward to every year! We always co-host with The Ballards and this year was the year we have Melody's 9th grade small group. We rotate hosting our small groups each year. Next year, my group will be seniors - I can't even believe I typed it - so next year will definitely be bittersweet but back to this year! 

Melody and I met our leaders - the two girls that would lead the small group all weekend - Annie and Lauren and we took them to dinner at Chiloso. They are both so sweet and we knew it would be a great weekend with them as soon as we met them. After dinner, we headed back to Melody's house to wait for all the girls to show up!

The host homes had signs to put in their yard so the parents could find it when it was time to drop their kids off and Justin put theirs in their dirt pile (from their backyard for their new pool!) in their driveway :)


Lauren, Katie, Jalie and Annie - the calm before the storm!


The girls showed up and one of the best things about Venture is all the snack food :) One girl brought this big bag of popcorn and we were all excited - or maybe just me!


Once all the girls came, we headed to the church for the first session!

We love getting to go in and worship and I love this picture of everyone worshiping together!


After the first session, the girls headed back to the house and had a great talk-back session. The next morning, I headed back over to pick the girls up to head to the church for breakfast. But first, we might have had some popcorn for breakfast :)


Second breakfast - Chiloso breakfast tacos


While session #2 was going on, they started blowing up all the fun bounce houses and games for the youth . These three watched intently as they all went up!


After the second session, they headed to the chapel for a special presentation. Our group and Jalie who loved being with them all weekend!


The presentation had to do with how the obedience of these dogs they had on stage and how it parallels to our obedience and our Master's love for us.


While we waited for the presentation to be over, the kids how to test out the inflatables. These three were together all weekend and had a great time!


After the presentation, it was lunch time and then all the youth had a couple of hours to just play on all of the inflatables. Mallory had a birthday party to go to so we all hung out at the youth building until it was time for us to leave. Since we had so much time, Shanna taught us a new card game - 768 - and we were all addicted all weekend. We really had the best time playing and I loved learning a new game!


When it was time to leave, we got to be apart of a special thing for an 11 year old girl named Alex Kirk, who goes to Rockwall, and was just diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer. You can visit her Caring Bridge here. We all tied notes to some balloons so that after we let them go, wherever it lands, it asks the person who finds it to pray for Alex and to email the email on the note to let them know they were praying so you could see how many people across the state were praying. We went to Alex's house (she can't get out or go to school the rest of the year due to the risk of infection while she is going through chemo) and she came to the door so she could see all the balloons and we all prayed for her.


and then we let the balloons go.


It was a great moment and she had the biggest smile the whole time. We went back to our friend's house to put some ribbons together so we could pass them out in Alex's neighborhood and ask them to put the ribbon on a tree or somewhere on their house so Alex would know they were praying for her


I'm so thankful we were able to be apart of it. Such a special time!

We went back to Melody's to get ready for the session Saturday night. Most of the groups like to dress up for the Saturday night session and our girls decided to go as M&Ms and our leaders dressed up as Eminem M&M's. :)


My 11th grade small group went as Snow White and the Seven (eight) Dwarfs


Had to sneak a pic with Claire


Love this shot of all the youth worshipping


There are videos made for each session that are always fun to watch. You can find Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. Enjoy!!

Saturday night, we took the girls to Bahama Bucks. These two were troopers all weekend and loved being with all the girls


Sunday morning, we headed to church and just like that Venture was over


But not without taking all the pictures


So thankful to get to serve along one of my best friends


And loved getting to serve with my family! 


And because she;s my favorite :)


I know many lives were changed this weekend and getting to see these youth grow in their faith is the most important thing. Such an awesome weekend! And then I napped for 2 hours :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Snow in Texas!

Remember when the snowstorm came last week? :) Hey, when it snows in Texas, I do turn into a kid again and get very excited! So, when it started to snow last Friday, all I wanted to do was to get outside and play. This is a shot of the snow falling outside my office.


video

I went and got Brian (who works in the other office) and told him to come take a snow selfie with me 


Mallory was staying at Grammy's (Brian Aunt Pam's) house and she and Emmaline got to play in the snow! We had watched so many Hallmark movies that showed snow at Christmas and Mallory said she wished it would snow at Christmas. I had to tell her that we don't always get that because we live in Texas so I know she was so happy to see the snow!


We left work early since the roads were a little slick to get Mallory. We picked her up I told her I loved her outfit and had to take a pic! 


It wasn't much snow at all and yes, all of Texas shut down because of it but we enjoyed the little bit we got! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Break Fun

Later in the week after Christmas, Brian headed to Arkansas for his annual duck hunting trip. We definitely missed him but Mallory and I had good time filling the time with doing some fun things together! Our first stop was to see the movie "Sing."  Brian always jokes about the fact that I don't share my popcorn and I said - of course I don't :) We really enjoyed the movie!


Mallory got a lot of great gifts for Christmas and one of them was a ring making kit from Nana and Papa so we put her rings together so she wear them.


We also opened her Crayola Marker Airbrush Kit - we both loved it and have had fun creating with it


We really need to change out some of the decor in Mallory's room - some of her stuff she's had since she was a baby so we used some money we got for decorations for her room at Hobby Lobby. She is so happy about changing up her room! We actually didn't end up getting the pink picture of the flower because as I was getting ready to leave I saw a much bigger pink flower canvas that was on sale so I got that! I can't wait to see it all together.


We enjoyed eating out and just hanging out with each other!


And we might have indulged and got dessert - our favorite Molten Chocolate Cake. (and yes, this little girl looking at me kept looking at us the whole time - she was so cute!)


Later in the week, we got to go get Eva so she could stay the night with us! We were both so excited she could come! We started off with lunch at Chick-Fil-A with Nana and right as we were about to eat, one of Eva's bottom teeth came out! 


I surprised the girls and took them to get their fingernails painted at the nail salon. I think they both loved it!


We enjoyed the night by playing, listening to them play the guitar for me and making more jewelry!


Movie time!


We started out by making a pallet on the floor but later we decided to move to the bed. Happy girls in their mermaid blankets!


We had the best time having Eva over and were sad to see her leave!


Brian came home Saturday before we headed over to the Ballards to ring in the New Year! I'm so thankful for the time off and quality time with Mallory! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Family Night Away

One of my Christmas presents from Brian was a night away in Downtown Dallas! We both had the week after Christmas off - which was wonderful - so went the Monday night after Christmas. Brian was was heading out to Arkansas for his annual later the week so we wanted to go before he left. The last couple of months of 2016, we were both very busy at work so I asked that we could do something together as a family - even if it was just going to Dallas - and he booked us a hotel room at the Hyatt downtown. 

We told Mallory we were going and she was very thrilled - as was I! We honestly didn't do a whole lot but just hang out but it was so nice to be somewhere different and change up the routine! Here we are after we just arrived to our room.


We had a great view of downtown Dallas from our room


She had the biggest smile on her face the whole time


And then it was time to do what you have to do when you are staying in a hotel room - jump on the bed


We headed out for dinner and I love this shot I got of Mallory downtown


We ate at Spaghetti Warehouse. Brian loves their garlic butter and bread so he was a happy guy! We used to eat at Spaghetti Warehouse all the time when it was in Mesquite but it's been closed for a while so we were happy to eat there again.


We headed back to the hotel and the Army football team was staying at our hotel before their Heart of Dallas Bowl game against UNT. 


The Cowboys played Monday night so we made sure we were back in the room for the game. We had dessert and relaxed! Mallory was living the life on the chaise lounge.


We woke up the next morning and headed out - but not without taking in some more views.


I didn't take many other pictures than that but I'm so glad we had a fun time and Mallory keeps asking when she can stay in a hotel again :)