Sunday, April 04, 2010

LTC 2010-The Rock!

This weekend, we were blessed to be able to attend LTC 2010 (Leadership Training for Christ) in Dallas. We had such a good time at LTC last year, so we were really excited to come back this year. It didn't disappoint; it was really fun! It is so amazing to watch the kids perform in their events, knowing that they are having fun and learning to lead others to Christ at the same time.

One advantage of being in Dallas is that we were able to meet up with our friends, the Bronnimans, for lunch! We did this last year, too. We love this family! Both of them went to ACU, and Bret & Chris knew each other while there. I knew who Krista was part of the time, but we didn't really know each other. (She didn't know me! LOL) We got to be friends when we were both newly married living in Lubbock in 1995-1997. We've been friends ever since then! We were excited about plans to spend the weekend at their house back in February, but Dallas ended up getting a lot of snow (!) so we had to cancel. That made being able to meet for lunch even better!

Bret & Krista have 3 children, but 2 of them were with their grandmother, so we only got the pleasure of being with 1 of their children at lunch. He & Gracie acted like they've always known each other, when in reality they've only seen each other a few times.

It can be hard to move, as Chris & I have done quite a few times throughout our marriage, but one of the BLESSINGS of this is meeting friends ALL OVER the country. The Bronnimans are one of our BLESSINGS!

After eating lunch, we headed over to the hotel and began the somewhat chaotic process of getting our room keys. Gramps & Gramme were already there because they had come to watch Gracie perform and help watch Katie & Ellie for part of the time. There are THOUSANDS of people at the hotel for LTC (only 1 of the 3 hotels in Dallas holding LTC this weekend, not to mention it being held in other cities), so the hotel is packed. Sometimes you can wait for 15 minutes or more just to get ON the elevator. I walked up to our hospitality suite (on the 15th FLOOR) once because the wait was just too long. *pant, pant, gasp, gasp* I actually stopped on floor 7 to catch the elevator, but it never would come, so I headed back to the stairs. *whew, that was hard*Katie's special friend, 'Juice,' carried her on his shoulders up to the 15th floor! I sure couldn't have done that!

We got our keys and Chris and Gramps & Gramme got unloaded into our rooms while I helped Gracie get her artwork checked in and got her where she needed to be to practice for chorus. We then met for dinner in the hospitality suite (we have great coordinators who do a great job of feeding us all!) and headed over to Bible Bowl, which was over 2 Samuel this year.

Gracie & friends needed to get a little giggling over with before they began.
Gracie was a little nervous about Bible Bowl this year; it was hard! Next year is Revelation (yikes!) We are very proud of Gracie for working hard at Bible Bowl!

Bible Bowl isn't really a spectator event, so Ellie & a friend had a little fun together during it.

After Bible Bowl on Friday night, we enjoyed a devo and time to visit with lots of people in the hospitality suite. It's a bit chaotic at times, but really fun and the phrase "community" keeps coming to mind when thinking about the weekend. I love to see my children interacting with friends their own age, as well as younger & older. I love times like LTC weekends where you have a chance to sit & visit and know that the reason you're all there is because of a common love for Christ!
Gracie had chorus practice at 8:00 Saturday morning. Her chorus coaches did a fantastic job of leading the group. I thought they sounded so good!
One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing Susan!!!!! Susan & I were roommates at ACU our Junior year; in a house with 5 girls total 1 semester and 4 girls the 2nd semester. I haven't seen Susan since November 2003 (when I was pregnant with Katie!) when we stayed the night with she & Jim on our way from SC to NM. I was so happy that they were at LTC this year since their daughter is now old enough to participate.

I loved the way our kids interacted. Gracie & Susan's little girl (1 grade younger than Gracie) got along and played like they've always been friends. Our time at ACU was so great in so many ways, and seeing our 5 children together is awesome! Chris & Jim were roommates, too and we were all in each other's weddings. It was such a blessing that we were able to meet; if even for just a few minutes. I loved the way I felt like Susan & I just fell into conversation like we see each other all the time rather than the 6 1/2 years it's been since we've seen each other in person!

Another of Chris's roommates, Jason, showed up too! Jason's family attended church with us here in Houston for a few months, and it was great. He & Deana have 3 girls like us, and Gracie & his youngest hit it off immediately. They recently moved back to Oklahoma, and Gracie has missed her, so she was extremely excited to see her at LTC!

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and the hotel has a beautiful park-like area which makes it nice for spending time outside. Katie enjoyed getting to play with the big kids some; frisbee & football.

After Bible Bowl on Friday night and chorus on Saturday morning, Gracie had her drama skit on Saturday afternoon. Her coach, Mrs. Molly, did a great job of coming up with the script, and the kids had fun performing it. They did a really good job; it focused on not getting caught in sin, a "sin box," and how to get out of it if you did find yourself there.

The hospitality suite is a nice place to have because everyone can just hang out there; eat, visit, watch basketball, have a devo, etc. There is an LTC Convention held here in Houston, but I'm glad we attend the one in Dallas. If we went to the one here, I don't think it'd be as much fun because most of us would just come & go from our houses, I think. Going to Dallas, it's fun b/c of all the time spent together.
The Easter Bunny even found his way to the hotel to leave the girls a few little treats. Since we weren't home, and were attending church services there at the hotel, we opted to go casual (some did, some didn't!), our Easter morning picture isn't your typical one. I think they still look like my sweet girls! We were happy that 3 of the young men from Memorial were able to participate in the service this morning. One did sign language, one led a song, and one preached. The most special thing about the young man preaching is that last Sunday night, he preached his sermon at Memorial. Afterwards, his own father came forward to be baptized, so this young man was able to baptize his own father who had made the decision to be baptized & become a Christian. I think this young man has a bright future ahead of him, influencing others for Christ!
One of the ladies organized an Easter Egg Hunt for our kids, so the girls were excited about participating in that. Ellie pretty much had the "little kid" part to herself until she had too many eggs and the older kids came over to get some of them. She had plenty!

It was a great weekend! LTC is an amazing experience, and I look forward to many, many years of it with our girls. In the picture above, Katie is sitting with one of her friends who has 2 much older brothers. His mom told me when it's all said & done, they will have participated in LTC for something like 29 years...with 1 year off b/w when her middle one graduates high school and her youngest can begin (3rd grade). I'd have to think about how many years we will be able to participate, but I look forward to them all!


Cindy Deister said...

Such a great weekend! I love all of your pictures! Gracie did a great job in everything she did - She is really growing up in the Lord. The Easter egg hunt looked fun in that green grass! <3

Julie said...

This is Scott - thanks for letting us know you were going to be in the metroplex.

Julie said...

This is Scott - thanks for letting us know you were coming to DFW.