Friday, June 21, 2013

O'Dell family beach pictures, sort of!

Our last night at the beach, we had an impromptu photo shoot at the beach, hence the non-color coordination, which has bothered my OCD a little, ha!  Thankfully, I had left my camera in the back of the car.  It was super windy, as you cal tell from the crazy hair!  Anyway, here are some of my favorites of the evening.  
My girls know how to work it for the camera, ha!  Can you see Story hiding?
 I love them up, I do.  
 My five favorites in the whole wide world.  
 I adore how the black and white photos turned out.  
 Another of me with the little people.  
 Sweet Tilly.  
 Handsome boy.  
 Just the girls.  
 Story giving away all of my sugar.  
 Love this.  
 And this.  
 Another re-creation of the picture we took two summers ago, the last time we were at the beach.  
 In color and closer.  
 Pap and Gigi with our fab four.  
 One more time.  
 And this was about the best I could get with all 6 grandchildren.  
 The whole crew.  
 Take two!
 I love this!  Carter running with his tongue out.  Summer running all prissy and looking over at her brother.  Tilly trying to beat Story, and Story holding on tight to my hand.  
Papa and Gigi!
Thank you so much for a wonderful week at the beach.  We loved our time with all of you and can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


For those of you who know us well, you're well aware that we don't sit still for long if at all!  Last Saturday, we drove back home to MS from a week at the beach with David's family.  On the way home, I scheduled hair cuts for David, Carter and me for that afternoon because the next day after the preacher said, "AMEN," we were headed to Houston, Texas, for the Southern Baptist Convention.  
Here is my little selfie I took in my room to send to a couple of inquiring friends.  I have to be honest, I was thinking about an inch and half longer, but it's done, and it will grow, right?  I think in a few weeks once the newness wears off and cut isn't so blunt, I will love it more.  Nevertheless, it's nice and cool for these hot Mississippi summers.  And, y'all, it is HOT!
Here' Carter getting ready for his summer trim with Miss Rachel.  We just love her!  She cut my hair back in December when I cut it pretty short after David's crazy surgery.  She's adorable!
Anyway, after hair cuts and a quick supper, we headed home to get ready to leave town once again.  With the SBC convention coming so closely on the heels of our vacation with David's family, we seriously debated not going, and I am so thankful that we decided to go for it.  I had the best time!
Tilly at church on Sunday morning.  She insisted on wearing my necklace to church, and it looked so sweet with her dress!  Her Sunday School teacher took this picture and later sent it to me.  After church, we hit the road!
And we were barely in the interstate when this little cutie, fell fast asleep.  She is so my kid!  I love to sleep in the car, always have.  The other two girls quickly followed suit, so we opted to wait on lunch until they awakened. 
David bought me this book for our beach trip, but I never got around to reading it.  I packed it for this trip and easily read the first few chapters.  I have already read the book written by Willie and Korie, and this one is written in a similar easy to read fashion, but it is all from the perspective of Phil.  It's been great so far!
Our little ones have been trained to ride in the car and do really well, so we made it to Houston in no time!  A six hour trip is nothing for our well-seasoned travelers! Here is a picture of the skyline just as we were driving into town. 
This is the hotel we stayed in for the week.  It was so very nice, definitely the nicest and largest we have stayed in together as a family.  It was a suite with a full functioning kitchen and two separate rooms, one for sleeping and the other for a sitting area, which ended up being so nice because I didn't have to go to bed when I put the children to bed each night. 
The pastor's conference began Sunday afternoon, so we ate a quick supper at this place located right beside our hotel.  It was so good!  I'd never been to one before, but I loved it!
My Story girl and me at Smashburger. 
Tilly's turn for a picture with Mommy! She developed swimmer's ear from our week at the beach, so she was pretty miserable for the first couple of days until we got her some medicine and ear drops.  We are so very thankful for Dr. H!
David wanted to head right over to the pastor's conference because Dr. Fred Luter was preaching, and he didn't want to miss it.  David took the five of us over to the hotel, so we could do baths and get ready for bed.  Our room was on the 20th floor, so the children really enjoyed looking out at the scenery below!
I have a neat story about this pretty lady.  She was running a booth at the women's expo during the convention.  At the prompting of Miss Beckie, another pastor's wife from our church, I went over to talk to her.  She was telling me about her ministry and a book she wrote years ago.  As she was talking, I realized that I had read the book, and I connected the dots that she was the author.  It was so neat to meet her.  Susan wrote the book, After the Boxes are Unpacked, and my sweet friend and neighbor in Georgia, Elizabeth gave it to me when we moved to Mississippi.  I remember Elizabeth telling me that the book so ministered to her heart during their move to Georgia, and she wanted to pass it along to me.  I'm so glad she did, and what a treat it was to meet the author and share this story of how her book as truly ministered to those who have read it!  So neat!
Some students from William Carey were at the convention as exhibitors, and it was so great to see them and listen to them sing!  Such talent, they have. 
Monday night, we ate supper at this place per the recommendation of some of our friends who live in Houston.  We got there early enough for "Happy Hour," which meant free queso for us!  So yum! 
A selfie with my Tilly girl.  She was feeling pretty miserable at this point of our trip.  In fact, during the morning session, the workers called me to come check on her.  That night Dr. H called in some meds for her, so she was feeling much better by Tuesday. 
I don't know if it's from growing up in the country or spending long periods of time in great places like Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta, but I love the city, love it!  Each night after supper, David went back to the convention to listen to the speakers.  I would take the children back to our room, bathe them, and put them to bed.  One of my favorite evening rituals became sitting by our large window overlooking the city.  So beautiful!  I really loved Houston!
Another highlight of the week for me was the opportunity to serve at the Minister's Wives luncheon held on Tuesday.  All of the hostesses were to arrive early and pray over their table.  What an honor! 
The president of this year's luncheon is a lady by the name of Kathy Litton, more on her later, but she is the founder of FLOURISH, a website for the purpose of encouraging pastor's wives.  She provided these awesome bags full of great books.  The luncheon was wonderful.  I had the sweetest ladies at my table, and I met one special friend, more on her later, too. 
One of the things we love about the convention is getting to see dear friends we've connected with along the way in our journey.  Dr. McRaney was one of David's professors and mentors while we were in seminary.  It was so great to see him and his wife, Sandy. 
Tuesday night, we were not all that hungry, but we needed to eat something, and we wanted to eat somewhere we could not eat at in Hattiesburg, so we went to this place.  It was so cute and delicious! 
Love this picture of me with my little sugar pies!
She might not approve of me posting this picture on my blog, but since the chances of her reading my blog are so slim, I'm gonna chance it!  This is Kathy Litton, wife of Ed Litton, who is the pastor of FBC Mobile.  She is also the founder of Flourish.ME.  Kathy spoke at the Timothy Barnabas conference David and I attended in March, and she was also the president of the Minister's Wives luncheon at this year's convention.  I was so hoping that I would have the opportunity to meet her and speak to her.  In fact, Monday night, I was sharing with the Lord how much I would love that.  And you know, our Lord is so sweet.  I was sitting out in the lobby visiting with my friend when Miss Kathy stopped and spoke, what a treat!  She shared something during the TB conference that just ministered to me and has stuck with me.  Kathy lost her first husband, also a pastor in a car accident 11 years ago.  As she was sharing about losing her first love, she shared about how there is a ministry in underwear.  What?  I know.  Stay with me.  There are times when I have resented having to pick up dirty underwear and put them in the wash or the dirty clothes hamper, but she talked about how there is a ministry there, and how when you don't have that opportunity any more you really wish you did.  This has truly resonated with me, and I think about every time I pick up those underwear, which is about daily!  I was so thankful to share with Miss Kathy how her words touched my heart because you just never know the impact of what you share! 
This is Sara, and she really deserves a whole blog post to herself, but this is the only picture I have, so no full post.  Prior to the SBC, David shared with me that he was praying that I would meet and make a friend, one who I would continue to talk to long after the convention.  Sara, before she sat at my table at the minister's wives luncheon, prayed in the bathroom that the Lord would lead her to a table in the room.  There were probably 40 or more tables in the room, and He led her to mine!  We hit it off right away, and we met Wednesday morning for coffee and talked for two hours!  I could have spent the whole day talking to this precious girl!  Thank you, Lord for being so faithful and for showing us just how much in the details you are. 
David, Carter, and I were on our way to the NOBTS alumni luncheon, when this adorable girl stopped us in the hallway to ask if we were related to Cari Calhoun.  Of course, we claimed Cari, she's David's sister!  Erin is one of Cari's best friends and was at the convention with her husband who is a pastor in NC.  She took our picture to send to Cari, such a small world!
Wednesday afternoon, we picked up the children, and I wanted to get a picture of them before leaving.  At first Story was having no part.  You can see the little bit of yellow in the picture, ha! 
And then she came around.  These four have been such troopers over the last two weeks.  We have traveled a lot!
Excuse the awkward arm, but I wanted to get in a picture with these cuties, too!
Wednesday night, we got to meet up with Garret and Kat, who were on staff with us at First Baptist Atlanta before any or our four little loves came along.  Summer passed out on the way to meet them!  That's some good sleeping, y'all!
After supper at Pappasitos, we went back to Garret's church, so he could show us around.  This play area is inside their church.  Pretty nice, huh?!
Story going down the slide.  Yup, we are still inside the church.  I have never seen anything like this before. 
The children had the most fun while David and I enjoyed catching up with Garret and Kat. 
Thursday morning we hit up IKEA and then hit the road headed home.  One last picture of the Houston skyline. 
This book was given to us at the convention, and I read it on the way home.  Great read that I would highly recommend for all church members everywhere.  It was really enlightening and convicting all at the same time.  There are less than 80 pages in the whole book, so you could easily read it in a day.  Do it!  Your church will benefit, promise!  And that's all.  We are home from all of our travels.  For a few weeks anyway.